Tell the American Museum of Natural History: Drop Mercer
Rebekah Mercer is the secretive billionaire who has donated tens of millions to Donald Trump and Breitbart News.1,2 For years, she has systematically funded organizations and candidates who promote climate change denial.3 She is also a trustee of one of the world's most prestigious science museums.
Last week, 200 scientists wrote a letter calling for the American Museum of Natural History to drop Mercer from its board of trustees.4 At a time when even the White House is lying to the public about climate change, we need to protect scientific institutions from the influence of disinformation and distortion. Let’s add momentum to the calls for Mercer’s removal by publicly showing our support for those courageous scientists.
Stand with scientists: Tell the American Museum of Natural History to drop Rebekah Mercer.
Rebekah Mercer has arguably done more than any other person in the world to confuse the public about climate science. Through her foundation, she has given millions of dollars to notorious anti-science organizations – including the Heartland Institute and the Heritage Foundation — that promote climate disinformation to the public and policymakers.5
These are extremist fringe groups, but thanks to Mercer's success in getting Trump elected, they now have a role in setting our national agenda. Mercer was one of Trump’s biggest donors, served on his transition team and promoted Jeff Sessions as attorney general.6 Her family has also given more than $10 million to Breitbart News.7
Mercer has been on the board of the American Museum of Natural History since 2013. Although the museum claims its funders have no influence on its exhibits, one exhibit still displays a plaque featuring wildly misleading claims on climate change that was installed when Exxon was a funder.8 Thanks to recent public backlash, the museum has agreed to revise the plaque. But the incident shows how easily disinformation can slip in when deep-pocketed donors are paying the bills.
Tell the American Museum of Natural History: Drop Rebekah Mercer.
- Megan Janetsky, "Trump’s top donors: Where are they now?" Open Secrets, Jan. 19, 2018.
- Alexander C. Kaufman, "The Mercers, Trump’s billionaire megadonors, ramp up climate change denial funding," HuffPost, Jan. 25, 2018.
- Robin Pogrebin, "Museum trustee, a Trump donor, supports groups that deny climate change," The New York, Times, Jan. 17, 2017.
- Robin Pogrebin and Somini Sengupt, A science denier at the natural history museum? Scientists rebel," The New York Times, Jan. 25, 2018.
- Pogrebin, "Museum trustee, a Trump donor, supports groups that deny climate change."
- Jake Offenhartz, "What’s a climate denial funder doing on the American Museum of Natural History board?" Village Voice, Jan. 12, 2018.