Scientists call on Smithsonian museums to cut ties with Koch brothers

"We are concerned that the integrity of these institutions is compromised by association with special interests," scientists wrote.
By Brooks Hays  |  March 24, 2015 at 6:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 24 (UPI) -- A group of scientists penned a public letter to the Smithsonian's Museums of Science and Natural History on Tuesday, calling on the institutions to sever ties with brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch.

"We are deeply concerned by the links between museums of science and natural history with those who profit from fossil fuels or fund lobby groups that misrepresent climate science," the letter reads.

As the Guardian reported in 2013, between 2002 and 2012, the Koch brothers funneled more than $120 million to 100 groups with aims to undermine and confuse the science of climate change.

"We are concerned that the integrity of these institutions is compromised by association with special interests who obfuscate climate science, fight environmental regulation, oppose clean energy legislation, and seek to ease limits on industrial pollution," the scientists write.

The letter was followed by a petition, which calls for David Koch to be booted from boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in the nation's capital.

Once signatures have been accumulated, the petitions will be presented to each of the institutions' spring board meetings.

The letter was signed by 27 scientists, including biologists, physicists, hydrologists, geologists, ecologists and climatologists from the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

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