Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has been watching the climate world since 2009. What she sees isn't pretty.

Naming Names: Marine Experts Tainted by Activist Cash

Yesterday I blogged about how the Pew Environment Group, an activist organization, has been funding research to the tune of $1 million a year for more than 20 years. Those named as Pew Fellows each receive $150,000.

This is no small matter. The question of whether an entire generation of scholarship has been improperly influenced by activist funding must now be asked.

How many people with doctorates now owe part of their success to this agenda-driven organization? How many scholars, in gratitude for such funding, currently maintain ties with this activist group?

Is it really in the public interest for the line between advocacy and science to become blurred in this manner?

Below is the complete list of marine experts (Pew’s term) who accepted this activist cash. Take a minute to scan it. It contains an awful lot of people whom the public is likely to regard as neutral, objective experts. There’s a PhD attached to their name, after all.

But please also note that these people are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with full-blown political activists.

For example, one of the individuals awarded $150,000 in 2007 was Dorothy Childers. The first line of her Pew bio describes her as “an advocate for marine and coastal conservation in Alaska” (my italics). Lower down we’re told she has also been a Greenpeace employee.

Among the recipients of $150,000 in the year 2000 was the (now deceased) Marc Reisner – whose 1986 best-selling book Cadillac Desert was turned into a PBS documentary film. His expertise also appears to be closely connected to the series of activist organizations that employed him. For example, he spent eight years as communications director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Sarah Fowler landed her $150,000 in 2005. Her bio is another long list of activist outfits, including the Nature Conservancy Council, Naturebureau International, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Among those who became Pew Fellows in 1992 is a lawyer named Victor Sher who is described as “the former president of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund” and Jane Lubchenco – who now heads the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (see more about her activist ties here).

Here’s the complete list. You can read a bio of each person and see photos by visiting this page on the Pew website and typing any of these names into the search box.

  • Alex Aguilar, Ph.D.
    Angel C. Alcala
    Richard B. Allen
    Susan L. Anderson, Ph.D.
    Shankar Aswani-Canela, Ph.D.
    Peter J. Auster, Ph.D.
    John C. Avise, Ph.D.

Scott Baker, Ph.D.
Andrew Baker, Ph.D.
Kamaljit S. Bawa, Ph.D.
Michael J. Bean, J.D.
Giovanni Bearzi, Ph.D.
Barbara Block, Ph.D.
Wen Bo
P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D.
Pablo Garcia Borboroglu, Ph,D.
Enrique H. Bucher, Ph.D.
JoAnn M Burkholder, Ph.D.
Rodrigo H. Bustamante, Ph.D.
Claudio Campagna, Ph.D.

  • James T. Carlton, Ph.D.
    Stephen R. Carpenter, Ph.D.
    Juan Carlos Castilla, Ph.D.
    Mac Chapin, Ph.D.
    Anthony T. Charles, Ph.D.
    Dorothy Childers
    Patrick Christie, Ph.D.
    David R. Cline
    Andrew N. Cohen
    Theo Colborn, Ph.D.
    Marcus Colchester, Ph.D.
    Felicia C. Coleman, Ph.D.
    Marla Cone
    Daniel Conley, Ph.D.
    Andrew Constable, Ph.D.
    Robert Costanza, Ph.D.
    Richard M. Cowling, Ph.D.
    Benjamin E. Cuker, Ph.D.

Gretchen C. Daily, Ph.D.
Paul K. Dayton, Ph.D.
Omar Defeo, D.SC.
Rodolfo Dirzo, Ph.D.

  • Karen L. Eckert, Ph.D.
    Roberto R. Enriquez-Andrade, Ph.D.
    Mark Van N. Erdmann, Ph.D.
    Peter A. Espeut, M.Phil.
    Tim Essington, Ph.D.
    James A. Estes, Ph.D.
    Exequiel Ezcurra, Ph.D.

Philip M. Fearnside, Ph.D.
Miriam Fernandez, Ph.D.
Carl B. Folke, Ph.D.
Sarah Fowler
Rainer Froese, Ph.D.
Rodney M. Fujita, Ph.D.
Beth Fulton, Ph.D.

  • Madhav Gadgil, Ph.D.
    Ashok J. Gadgil, Ph.D.
    Steven D. Gaines, Ph.D.
    Alwyn H. Gentry, Ph.D.
    Kristina M. Gjerde, J.D.
    Edgardo Gomez, Ph.D.
    Thomas J. Goreau, Ph.D.
    Russell S. Greenberg, Ph.D.
    Anil K. Gupta, Ph.D.

Stephen John Hall, Ph.D., GAICD
Jean Mary Harris, Ph.D.
John Harte, Ph.D.
Vreni Häussermann, Ph.D.
Burr Heneman
Julia A. Horrocks, Ph.D.
Stephen P. Hubbell, Ph.D.
Malcolm Hunter, Ph.D.
David Hyrenbach, Ph.D.

  • Noah Idechong

Wes Jackson, Ph.D.
Dana L. Jackson
Narriman S. Jiddawi, Ph.D.
Robert E. Johannes, Ph.D.
Calestous Juma, Ph.D.

  • Anne R. Kapuscinski, Ph.D.
    Les Kaufman, Ph.D.
    Dennis Takah. Kelso, J.D., Ph.D.
    Jack R. Kloppenburg, Jr., Ph.D.
    William Kostka

Jessica C. Landman, J.D.
Glenn-Marie Lange, Ph.D.
Matthieu Le Corre, Ph.D.
Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D.

  • Georgina Mace, Ph.D.
    Mauro Maida, Ph.D.
    Helene D. Marsh, Ph.D.
    Hiroyuki Matsuda, D. Sc.
    Tim R. McClanahan, Ph.D.
    Laurence J. McCook, Ph.D.
    Judith McDowell, Ph.D.
    Donella Meadows, Ph.D.
    Laurence David Mee, Ph.D.
    Fan Meng
    Firoenza Micheli, Ph.D.
    Constance I. Millar, Ph.D.
    Vera Leoid. Mischenko, Ph.D., J.D.
    Mario J. Molina, Ph.D.
    Derek C. Muir, Ph.D.
    Peter Mumby, Ph.D.
    Dennis D. Murphy, Ph.D.
    Norman Myers, Ph.D.

Gary P. Nabhan, Ph.D.
Rosamond L. Naylor, Ph.D.
Daniel C. Nepstad, Ph.D.
Magnus A.K. Ngoile, Ph.D.
Bernard O. Nietschmann, Ph.D.
Elliott A. Norse, Ph.D.
David W. Norton, Ph.D.
Reed Noss, Ph.D.

  • Thomas Okey, Ph.D.
    Jose Orensanz, Ph.D.
    Erdal Ozhan, Ph.D.

Stephen R. Palumbi, Ph.D.
Ana M. Parma, Ph.D.
Charles H. ‘Pete’ Peterson, Ph.D.
Ellen K. Pikitch, Ph.D.
Stuart L. Pimm, Ph.D.
Sandra L. Postel
James A. Powell, Ph.D.
Jurgenne Primavera, Ph.D.

  • Vo Quy, Ph.D.

Marc Reisner
Robert C. Repetto, Ph.D.
Robert H. Richmond, Ph.D.
Alison Rieser, J.D. LL.M.
Callum M. Roberts, Ph.D
Graham Robertson, Ph.D.
Alejandro Robles
Marie-Joelle Rochet, Ph.D.
Terry L. Root, Ph.D.
Garry R. Russ, Ph.D.

  • Andrea Sáenz-Arroyo, Ph.D.
    Carl Safina, Ph.D.
    Mark H. Sagoff, Ph.D.
    Enric Sala, Ph.D.
    Adelaida Semesi
    Robert S. Seymour, Ph.D.
    Peter Shelley, J.D.
    Victor M. Sher, J.D.
    Craig R. Smith, Ph.D.
    Robert S. Steneck, Ph.D.
    Gregory S. Stone, Ph.D.
    Ben Sullivan, Ph.D.
    Ussif Rashid Sumaila, Ph.D.

Mia J. Tegner, Ph.D.
John W. Terborgh, Ph.D.
G. David Tilman, Ph.D.
Wayne Z. Trivelpiece, Ph.D.
Ronald L.. Trosper, Ph.D.

  • Christopher F. Uhl, Ph.D.
    Amanda C.J. Vincent, Ph.D.
    Peter M. Vitousek, Ph.D.

Johanna H. Wald, J.D.
Carl J. Walters, Ph.D.
Les E. Watling, Ph.D.
John B. Weller
Alan T. White
David S. Wilcove, Ph.D.
Norbert Wu

  • Alexey V. Yablokov, Ph.D.

Cheryl Ann Zimmer, Ph.D.
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