Scientist Defends Dr. Wei-Hock ‘Willie’ Soon, Explains How Funding Really Works

Published March 3, 2015

Colleague of Dr. Soon rips media, notes Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics knew about and approved his funding

Dr. Robert M. “Bob” Carter, Ph.D. today released a public letter defending Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon from attacks by environmental extremists on his character and scientific integrity.

A palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist, and environmental scientist with 45 years professional experience, Dr. Carter has worked with Dr. Soon on the Climate Change Reconsidered volumes that examine and critique the peer-reviewed climate literature.

“The criticism of Dr. Soon is false, mean-spirited, insulting, and potentially libelous,” Carter said in a 14-page open letter. “Allowing such attacks to stand, and to allow politics and fear tactics to silence Dr. Soon or any other scientist, or to censor scientific publications, would be a personal calumny and a blow against scientific freedom of expression the world over.”

Dr. Soon has been a research astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) for 25 years. Last month, the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Washington Post ran stories repeating claims made by long-time Greenpeace staffer Kert Davies that Dr. Soon failed to disclose funding from “fossil-fuel sources” to the editors of a science journal. Davies alleged this violated the journal’s disclosure and conflict of interest requirements.

“These attacks appear to be calculated to damage Dr. Soon’s reputation, to undermine the credibility of his research results, and to threaten his employment at the Center for Astrophysics by improperly suggesting that he has acted unethically and dishonestly,” Dr. Carter said. “In my opinion, these allegations are malicious and should be retracted.”

You can read Dr. Carter’s 14-page letter – which addresses typical grant-funding processes, debunks the notion Dr. Soon had a “conflict of interest” with respect to his writing for Science Bulletin, outlines typical disclosure procedures, and more – at at this link.

If you would like to interview Dr. Carter, please contact Heartland Institute Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

The Heartland Institute is a 31-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.