The Natural History Museum just released an unprecedented letter signed by the world’s top scientists, including several Nobel laureates, calling on science and natural history museums to cut all ties to the fossil fuel industry.
The letter comes on the heels of recent news that Smithsonian-affiliated scientist Willie Soon took $1.25 million from the Koch brothers, Exxon Mobil, American Petroleum Institute and other covert funders to publish junk science denying man-made climate change, and failed to disclose any funding-related conflicts of interest.
In particular, it points a finger at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (D.C.) and the American Museum of Natural History (NY), where David Koch is a member of the board, a major donor and exhibit sponsor.
Oil mogul David Koch sits on the boards of our nation’s largest and most respected natural history museums, while he bankrolls groups that deny climate science.
Museums are one of the most trusted sources for information in the country, and they are a top three recreational destination for families. They have a tremendous influence on our culture, defining values, transmitting information, conveying norms. Yet they are increasingly subject to self-censorship.
Energy companies and the Koch brothers gain social license from their association with these scientific institutions. It gives them cultural capital and credibility as supporters of science, yet they fund scientists and lobby groups that spread climate science disinformation and block action on climate change.
We’ll deliver this message and the list of signatures to the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History in advance of their next board meetings.
These museums are centers of learning and homes for science. There’s no place for David Koch, or anyone behind funding the denial of man-made climate change, on the boards of these trusted institutions.
Forecast the Facts
RH Reality Check
Rainforest Action Network
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Oil Change International
Corporate Accountability International
The Other 98%
Working Families Party
Progressive Democrats of America
People Demanding Action