Dozens of high-profile climate scientists want to make David Koch's funding for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History the next battleground in the global-warming fight.
The group of scientists, including James Hansen and Michael Mann, on Tuesday penned a letter calling on the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to stop accepting big-money donations from conservative financier David Koch and anyone with a financial stake in fossil fuels.
"This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost," the scientists wrote in an open letter to science and natural history museums, adding, "The only ethical way forward for our museums is to cut all ties with the fossil-fuel industry."
Koch, who along with his brother Charles heads the privately held Koch Industries and has given millions to conservative causes, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum and the Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History. He has donated $35 million to the Smithsonian for an overhaul of its dinosaur hall and another $15 million to sponsor the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins. Koch has also given at least $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History.