Climate Scientists and Cultural Figures want David Koch Unseated from Smithsonian

Climate Scientists and Cultural Figures want David Koch Unseated from Smithsonian

Climate scientists and cultural figures on Tuesday have called on the national history and science museums to sever their ties with the fossil fuel industry.

In a letter, the scientists have said that the corporate sponsorships from the fossil fuel industry have threatened the credibility of the important institutions and have eroded the public trust.

The letter which was signed by around three dozen scientists and museum professionals, said, "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 letter has openly targeted David Koch, who had spent at least $67m in the funding of climate denial front groups.

Koch is a trustee and leading donor and exhibit sponsor of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The letter said that when the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science gave sponsorship to the exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, then they weaken public confidence in the validity of the institutions that are responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge.

Five years ago, Koch and the Smithsonian natural history museum were targeted for an exhibit that was sponsored by the billionaire which failed to connect the burning of fossil fuels to climate change.

The letter has raised similar arguments to the campaign against BP corporate sponsorship of the Tate Modern. It has been endorsed by a number of leading scientists, including the Nobel laureate, Eric Chivian, climate scientists James Hansen, Michael Mann, and many museum professionals.

The campaigners, in April, will ask the American Museum of Natural History for the removal of Koch as a trustee.