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March 24, 2015

Green Groups Call on Science Museums to Cut Koch Ties

Leading environmental organizations are sponsoring a petition drive urging the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York to remove industrialist and philanthropist David H. Koch from their boards, Inside Climate News and The New York Times report.

The Sierra Club and Greenpeace are among 15 nonprofits behind the campaign, which asserts that the libertarian billionaire “bankrolls groups that deny climate science.” The green groups cite a letter issued Tuesday by more than 30 climate and environmental scientists calling on science museums to sever ties with Mr. Koch and other donors and fossil-fuel companies they say promote misinformation about climate change.

A self-described dinosaur buff, Mr. Koch has given tens of millions of dollars to the country’s two most prominent museums of natural history. He and his brother Charles finance a network of largely nonprofit conservative and libertarian think tanks and advocacy groups, some of which contest the widely held scientific conclusion that human activity is contributing to climate change. Spokesmen for the museums said donors do not have a say in how the institutions present scientific content.