Read This Letter From Climate Activist Scientists Who Want Censorship

Climate activists are demanding that the American Museum of Natural History reject funding they do not like.

This is ridiculous, simply ridiculous. There is no evidence at all that the Mercer family or the Koch brothers or anyone else is pushing museums to twist science or self-censor. But a group of climate activist scientists who have long supported censoring others want museums to reject funding for their mission. They want to create pariah donors. Read this letter in full below.

Open Letter from Scientists to the American Museum of Natural History

**** CONFIDENTIAL / EMBARGOED **** Do not post on listservs or share with the media. ********

The American Museum of Natural History in New York (AMNH) is a treasured and influential institution. Museums must be protected as sites that build understanding, help the public make meaning, and serve the common good. We are concerned that the vital role of science education institutions will be eroded by a loss of public trust if museums are associated with individuals and organizations known for rejecting climate science, opposing environmental regulation and clean energy initiatives, and blocking efforts to reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Rebekah Mercer and the Mercer Family Foundation, political kingmakers and the financiers behind Breitbart News, are major funders of climate science denial projects such as the Heartland Institute, where they have donated nearly $6 million since 2008. The Mercer Family Foundation is also a top donor to the C02 Coalition and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, institutions that assert that an increase in C02 emissions from fossil fuels will be a great benefit to plant and animal life on Earth. The renewed attention to Mercer Family Foundation chair Rebekah Mercer, who sits on the AMNH Board of Trustees (since 2013), spurs us to reissue a statement that scientists first co-signed in 2015:

“When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge.”

Since that original letter, we have seen welcome changes as many museums updated their policies related to fossil fuel financial interests; the American Museum of Natural History increased its focus on climate change concerns and global sustainability in its investments and business plans. But given the prior AMNH funding and board membership associated with Exxon Corporation and David Koch, the prominence of Rebekah Mercer and the Mercer Family Foundation as current AMNH donors and on the Board of Trustees can prompt skepticism and hunts for signs of corruption, no matter the quality of the museum priorities and exhibits overall.

Last week thousands of people shared a Twitter comment by environmental economist Jonah Busch, PhD, who pointed out misleading information on climate science in an Exxon-funded exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. To its credit, the AMNH’s response was swift: it committed to updating the outdated information to reflect the best available science. But the initial online public anger showed that trust in the museum is undermined by the museum’s association with climate science opponents.

The most important asset any museum has is its credibility. This can be damaged by ties to donors and board members who are publicly known for investing in climate science obfuscation and opposing environmental solutions.

We ask the American Museum of Natural History, and all public science museums, to end ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation, and to have Rebekah Mercer leave the American Museum of Natural History Board of Trustees.

* * *
This letter was initiated by The Natural History Museum, a nonpartisan, nonprofit traveling museum that partners with scientists, major public museums, educators, artists, and community organizations.


  1. An Open Letter to Museums from the Scientific Community: Cut Ties to Fossil Fuels, (March 24, 2015)
  1. "What's a Climate Denial Funder Doing on the Board of the American Museum of Natural History?", Village Voice, (January 12, 2018)
  1. Twitter thread initiated by environmental economist Jonah Busch,


The views represented in this letter are those of the individual signatories and not the institutions they are affiliated with. Institutions are listed simply for identification purposes. To sign on please fill out the form fields below the signatures.

  1. James Powell, Geochemist; Former President of the Franklin Institute Science Museum and former President and Director of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum
  1. Eric Chivian, founder and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, co-founder of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985
  1. Kevin Trenberth, climate scientist, Lead Author 2001 and 2007 IPCC report
  1. Jason Box, Climatologist, Professor of Glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland; Co-author of 2007 IPCC report
  1. James E. Hansen, Columbia University Earth Institute, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  1. Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center, Penn State University
  1. George Woodwell, Ecologist; Founder and Director Emeritus, Woods Hole Research Center
  1. Michael MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs, Climate Institute and former Executive Director, Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program
  1. Robert W. Corell, climate scientist, Global Science Associates, IPCC report contributor and Head of US Office for the Global Energy Assessment.
  1. Jerry Melillo, Ecologist, Distinguished Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory, Chair of US National Climate Assessments 2001, 2009, 2014
  1. Reto Ruedy, NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  1. Calvin B. DeWitt, Environmental Scientist, Co-founder of the Evangelical Environmental Network, President of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists, and Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  1. Katharine Hayhoe, Professor, Department of Political Science, Texas Tech University; Director of the Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University
  1. Richard C. J. Somerville, climate scientist, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
  1. Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor of Physics of the Oceans, Potsdam University; Head of Earth System Analysis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  1. Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
  1. James J. McCarthy, Professor of Oceanography, Harvard University; Former Co-Chair, IPCC Working Group II; Former President, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Chair emeritus, Union of Concerned Scientists
  1. Edward Maibach, University Professor, Department of Communication; Director, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
  1. Richard Gammon, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry/Oceanography/Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington
  1. Dr. Kerry A. Emanuel, Cecil & Ida Green Professor of Atmospheric Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1. Dr. Peter U. Clark, Distinguished Professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
  1. Alan Robock, Distinguished Professor of Climate Science, Rutgers University
  1. Dr. Charles Greene, Professor, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University
  1. Richard Heede, Director, carbon geographer, Climate Accountability Institute
  1. Cecilia Bitz, Director Program on Climate Change, University of Washington
  1. Shaun Lovejoy, Professor of Physics, McGill University, Canada; Formerly at the Climate Diagnostics Centre of NOAA
  1. Dr Simon L Lewis, Reader, Global Change Science, at University College London and University of Leeds
  1. James Booth, Assistant Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, City College of New York
    Earth and Environmental Sciences, Graduate Center, City University of New York; Affiliated Scientist NASA GISS
  1. Robert N. Proctor, Professor of the History of Science, Stanford University
  1. Sarah Kornbluth, Biologist; Field Associate, American Museum of Natural History
  1. Dr. Harry Dowsett, geologist and paleoclimatologist, Editor and Board Member at Micropaleontology Press
  1. Ploy Achakulwisut, Climate change & Public health Postdoctoral Scientist, The George Washington University
  1. Geoffrey Supran, Post Doctoral Fellow in the Institute for Data, Systems, & Society at MIT and in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University
  1. Sandra Steingraber, biologist; Distinguished Scholar in Residence Ithaca College, co-founder Concerned Health Professionals of New York
  1. Dr. Reese Halter, Distinguished Conservation Biologist, MUSE School, CA
  1. Judith S. Weis, Professor Emerita, Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University
  1. Henry Pollack, Professor emeritus, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan
  1. David J. Burdige, Professor and Eminent Scholar of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University
  1. Alan Mix, Distinguished Professor of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
  1. S R Dickman, emeritus Professor of Geophysics, Binghamton University
  1. Terrence Gerlach, Geochemist-Volcanologist, Former Chief of Volcano Emissions Project, U.S. Geological Survey
  1. Julia Bradley-Cook, PhD, Arctic ecologist
  1. Priya Shukla, Ocean Acidification Technician, Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California, Davis
  1. Claudio Cassardo, PhD, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Climate Physics and Meteorology, Department of Physics, University of Torino, Italy
  1. John E. Roemer, Elizabeth S. & A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science & Economics, Yale University
  1. Bonnie Spanier, PhD, Health, Emerita U. at Albany SUNY
  1. Mark Mason, PhD, paleontologist, UC Berkeley
  1. Michelle Bamberger, MS, DVM, veterinarian
  1. Erika Crispo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Pace University
  1. Jed Fuhrman, McCullough-Crosby Chair of Marine Biology, University of Southern California
  1. Britta Voss, PhD, Earth sciences
  1. M. Elizabeth Sanders, professor of government
  1. Eri Saikawa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory University
  1. Andrea Ford, Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology at the University of Chicago
  1. Jane Zelikova, Research Scientist, Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, co-founder of 500 Women Scientists
  1. Megan Munkacsy, Oyster Researcher
  1. Nicole M. Baran, Ph.D., NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Greg Laden, Paleoanthropologist, Independent Scholar, Science Writer and Blogger
  1. Dr. Nicholas R. White, Independent Industrial Scientist, Albion Beams, Inc.
  1. Brad Johnson, Science writer; MS geosciences, MIT
  1. Karla Shoup, BS, REHS, Southern Nevada Health District
  1. Elise Gornish, Ecology
  1. Joy Buongiorno Altom, PhD candidate, University of Tennessee
  1. Dr. Cindy Shellito, Professor of Meteorology, University of Northern Colorado
  1. Aradhna Tripati, Professor, UCLA
  1. Allan Stewart-Oaten, Emeritus Prof of Mathematical Biology, UC Santa Barbara
  1. Kristen DeAngelis, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  1. Justin C. Burton, Assistant Professor of Physics, Emory University
  1. Robert Ulrich, PhD Student in Geochemistry, UCLA
  1. Uriel Kitron, Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory University
  1. Melissa Barlett, PhD, Assistant Professor in Natural Sciences, Mohawk Valley Community College
  1. Dr. Elise Pendall, University of Wyoming
  1. Brenda J Buck, Professor of Geoscience, University of Nevada Las Vegas
  1. Scott Vlaun. Executive Director, Center for an Ecology-Based Economy
  1. Daniel H. McIntosh, Norman Royall Distinguished Professor, U Missouri-Kansas City
  1. Benjamin Franta, PhD. PhD student, history of science, Stanford University. Associate, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
  1. Annalisa Alvrus, Ph.D., Residential Faculty, Biological Anthropology, Mesa Community College, Mesa AZ
  1. Erica Frank, MD, MPH; Professor and Research Chair, University of British Columbia
  1. Berry Brosi, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences, Emory University
  1. Kenneth G. Strothkamp, Ph.D., Chemistry Department, Portland State University
  1. Scott A Mandia, Asst. Chair & Professor of Physical Sciences, Suffolk County Community College
  1. Timon McPhearson, Urban Systems Lab, The New School, New York City
  1. Dr. John C. Armstrong, Professor of Physics, Weber State University, Ogden, UT
  1. Paul A. Selden, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Paleontological Institute, University of Kansas
  1. John E. Sohl, Ph.D., Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor, Atmospheric Physics, Weber State University, Ogden, UT
  1. Jonathan Oppenheim, Professor of Quantum Theory, University College London; Royal Society Research Fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
  1. Neal B. Keating, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Museum Studies/Public History, Department of Anthropology, The College at Brockport, SUNY
  1. Valentino Piana, Director, Economics Web Institute
  1. Sarah Batterman, PhD, Ecology, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds
  1. Dr. Melissa Duhaime, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan
  1. David Shalloway, Greater Philadelphia Professor in Biological Sciences, Cornell University
  1. Lawrence Licklider PhD, Chemistry, UC Riverside.
  1. Jonathan King, Prof. of Molecular Biology, MIT, Cambridge MA
  1. Lucky Tran, PhD, Biologist & Science Communicator, Columbia University
  1. Jacqueline Giovanniello, PhD Candidate, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  1. Simona Giunta, PhD, CEO @ Know Science, The Rockefeller University
  1. Simone Weinmann, Research Technician, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
  1. Andrea Alfano, content developer and communicator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  1. Carolina Henriques, Neuroscience, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  1. Matthew Moss, Bioinformatician, Cold Spring Harbor Labs
  1. Mona Mehdy, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences, University of Texas, Austin
  1. Julianne Warren, Ph.D. Ecology, author Aldo Leopold's Odyssey, Tenth Anniversary Edition
  1. Simone S. Whitecloud, PhD; Research Ecologist, Army Corps of Engineers
  1. B. B. Cael, Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  1. Molly Hammell, PhD; Assistant Professor, Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  1. Dr. Timothy A. Livengood, planetary scientist, University of Maryland
  1. Dr. Bruce Monger, Dept. Earth and Atmos. Sciences, Cornell University
  1. John H. Gardiner IV, structural biology technician, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  1. Gretchen Goldman, Environmental Engineering PhD
  1. Brenda Anderson, Assoc Prof., Stony Brook University
  1. Shawna M. McBride, PhD; Neuroscience, University of Wyoming
  1. Jennifer Fehrenbacher, Asst. Prof., College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
  1. John Olson, PhD; Geophysics, MIT
  1. Peter Little, Professor of Anthropology, Emory University
  1. Robert R. Janes; Museologist; Co-Chair, Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice
  1. Loren Cassin Sackett, PhD; Evolutionary Biology, University of South Florida
  1. Emma Loveday, PhD, Infectious Disease, Montana State University
  1. Judith Hubbard, Geologist; Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  1. Larry Hothem, senior physical scientist
  1. Dr. James Collins; School of Oceanography, University of Washington
  1. David Thomson, Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Colorado
  1. Sam Inglis, MSc, Glaciology
  1. M Bryson Brown, Philosopher of Science, University of Lethbridge, AB Canada
  1. Leehi Yona, MESc Candidate, Yale University
  1. Hank Patton, Founder, Little White Salmon Biodiversity Reserve
  1. Elaine Livingston, MS Chemistry UC Berkeley, MAT Math Binghamton University, Retired Science and Math Secondary Teacher
  1. David K. Adams, Atmospheric Scientist, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  1. Raymond S Bradley, Distinguished Professor, Director, Climate System Research Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  1. Neil Tangri, Stanford University
  1. Dr. Dagomar Degroot, Environmental Historian, Georgetown University
  1. Michael C. B. Ashley, Professor of Physics, University of New South Wales
  1. Dee Randolph, Certified Professional Geologist
  1. Jose L. Jimenez, Professor of Chemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder
  1. Jens Mühle, Dr. rer. nat., University of California, San Diego
  1. Anastasia Yanchilina, Postdoctoral Fellow, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
  1. Professor John Geissman, Emeritus, Geophysics, U New Mexico
  1. Steven C Sherwood, ARC Laureate Professor, University of New South Wales
  1. Gebreanenya Gebru Kidane, Environment and Natural resource management
  1. Dr. Georg Feulner, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  1. Jürg Luterbacher, Professor for Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany, Lead author IPCC AR 5, WG1
  1. Nathan Phillips, Professor of Earth & Environment, Boston University
  1. John Marsham, University of Leeds, UK
  1. Graciela Raga, Senior Scientist in Atmospheric Sciences, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
  1. Dr. Jean-Louis Fellous, Executive Director, Committee on Space Research
  1. Michiel van den Broeke, Professor of Polar Meteorology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  1. Dr. Ronald J. Parry, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas
  1. Melissa Stults, PhD., Climate and Sustainability Specialist
  1. John J. Cullen, Professor Emeritus, Oceanography, Dalhousie University
  1. MaryJo Stanley, Public Health Nurse
  1. Robert G. Middleton, Consulting Geologist, former AMNH curatorial staff (1974-75)
  1. William M. White, Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University
  1. Ann Pearson, Professor of Environmental Sciences, Harvard College Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
  1. Erwan Monier, Principal Research Scientist, Center for Global Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1. David Goodrich, former Director, Global Climate Observing System
  1. R Hubert, Northern Arizona University
  1. Dr. David Hastings, Professor of Marine Science, Eckerd College
  1. Marie Venner, Chair, National Academy of Sciences and Engineering Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Climate Change, Energy and Sustainability (AF0001)
  1. Dr. Joel A. Huberman, Professor (retired), Roswell Park Cancer Institute and SUNY Buffalo
  1. Robert Howarth, Earth system scientist and the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology at Cornell University
  1. Mara Freilich, MIT-WHOI Joint Program
  1. Dr. Radley Horton, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
  1. Michael A Rawlins, Extension Associate Professor, Associate Director, Climate System Research Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst University
  1. Stephen P. Kunz, Senior Ecologist, Schmid & Company, Inc., Media, PA
  1. Peter Mayes Ph.D Climatologist, NJDEP
  1. John Crusius, Ph.D., Chemical Oceanographer
  1. Stephen Mulkey, Ecologist, President Emeritus Unity College
  1. Joseph Pedlosky, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  1. Daniel Kane, Ph.D. student, Yale University
  1. Donald H. Campbell, Geologist (retired), Campbell Petrographics
  1. Ted K. Raab, Arctic Ecologist, Stanford University
  1. Dr. Raymond Smith, Prof Emeritus UCSB
  1. Julia Monk, PhD Candidate, Community and Ecosystem Ecology, Yale University
  1. Seth Schultz, Director of Science & Innovation, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group; Co-Chair of the Coalition for Urban Transitions, Co-Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Cities IPCC Conference
  1. Megan Sullivan, PhD Student, Yale School of Forestry
  1. Raymond Johnson PhD Director, Institute of Climate Studies USA
  1. Carl R. Carnein, Assoc. Prof. of Geology, Emeritus, Lock Haven Univ. of PA
  1. Leila M. V. Carvalho, Profesor Meteorology and Climate Sciences, UC Santa Barbara
  1. Michael Sandstrom, PhD Student, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
  1. Dr. Leonard S. Sklar, Professor of Geology, San Francisco State University
  1. Donna Sueper, Aerosol Researcher, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
  1. Johnse Ostman, Hydrologist, USGS
  1. Becky Alexander, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington
No. 1-7

Any signatory associating himself or herself with a state-sponsored organization should be brought up for immediate review of involvement with said organization. In a sane world, that person wouldn't even be reviewed, but feces-canned.


...and look at the locations for many of these folks -- can you say "non-partisan" without laughing hysterically? ;-)


Joseph23006 said: "...they have a vested interest in the theory that climate change is a new phenomenon and therefore bad. What they are doing is using 'political' science to destroy any and all who disagree or put forth a different scenario."
That is exactly correct. As with history revisionists, the expectation is to prevent knowledge that extends beyond their 150 yrs of data (97% of which has been collected in the last decade). If one controls history, one can change the future of the ignorant masses without them noticing. Ignorance is strength!


These people are economically incented to hold tight to this stance. No ACC, no $$$, have to either find a real job or a boring (but actually scientific) research project that doesn't have nearly the attention nor the easy grant approval.


Signers are prImarily from Government and academia. The usual suspects. Seems however that the signees from government don’t realize that mention of their agency implies endorsement by the governmental body they are employed by (and represent). They are allowed to sign as private citizens but not quote their affiliation unless their agency specifically endorses the action. Or provides a “does not represent the agency’s position clause”. So the signers can be disciplined for not securing such approval and frankly, the administration can issue a reprimand to the agency because of this behavior.

As a climate warming skeptic working at a government agency I was told I could not even add pithy quotes from known warming skeptics like Lindzen, Spencer, Pielke, Tennekes, etc. at the bottom of my email signature block because it constituted agency “endorsement”.

Do a simple google search on climate skeptics and your front page results will all be links to anti skeptic articles, opinions and diatribes. These guys excel at the art of censorship.