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Petition to Harvard-Smithsonian in Defense of Willie Soon

May 5, 2015

Approximately 500 scientists and policy analysts signed this letter to members of the Harvard-Smithsonian Board of Regents defending Willie Soon, an astrophysicist falsely accused by Harvard–Smithsonian of having improperly failed to disclose a source of

polar ice caps

Approximately 500 scientists and policy analysts signed this letter to members of the Harvard-Smithsonian Board of Regents defending Willie Soon, an astrophysicist falsely accused by Harvard–Smithsonian of having improperly failed to disclose a source of his funding for his work at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The signers ask for an investigation of possible misbehavior by senior managers of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

This document contains:
  • A reprint of an article appearing in The Chronicle of Higher Education damaging Dr. Soon’s reputation
  • Syllabus of findings by Lord Monckton, Professor David Legates, and Dr. Matt Briggs
  • Supporting evidence
  • Addendum: Letters from Professor Christopher Essex and Professor William Happer
  • List of approximately 500 distinguished academic signatories, including almost 70 professors, who signed this letter

The cover letter reads:

We are some 500 friends, colleagues, or supporters of Dr Willie Soon, an award-winning solar physicist of international standing who has been a researcher at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, for a quarter of a century. Recently, with three of us, Dr Soon co-authored a paper in the Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences that led to widespread but false allegations by the Smithsonian, echoing various advocacy groups, that he had improperly failed to disclose a source of his funding for his work on the paper.

When those allegations were proven false, the political advocacy group originally responsible for them circulated further false allegations that in 11 earlier papers Dr Soon had acted improperly in not having disclosed the source of his funding. However, the Smithsonian had negotiated a contract with the funder in question by which the funder’s identity was not to be published. The only papers in which Dr Soon had not disclosed his funders’ identity were those papers covered by that contractual obligation of confidentiality, for which obligation the Smithsonian, not Dr Soon, was entirely responsible.

The Smithsonian, however, unlawfully and publicly issued a series of statements intended to blame Dr Soon.

His three co-authors of the Science Bulletin paper have investigated the allegations by the Smithsonian and various political advocacy groups against their colleague. A syllabus of their findings is set out in the first two pages of their report to the Regents, attached hereto, followed by the evidence.

We now ask you –

  1. To instruct the Inspector-General of the Smithsonian to investigate the co-authors’ findings (pages 3-4) and the evidence in support of the findings (pages 5-14) as part of his investigation of this matter;
  2. To investigate Dr Alcock’s malicious and dishonest interview (overleaf) with the Chronicle of Higher Education; his refusal to make any correction of his falsehoods upon request by Dr Soon and separately by Dr Soon’s lead author; and his failure to forward to the Smithsonian’s general counsel the lead author’s freedom of information request;
  3. To request the Attorney-General of Massachusetts to investigate those aspects of the conduct of the Smithsonian in general and of Dr Alcock in particular that constitute a criminal campaign of intentional, connected and co-ordinated deceptions, persisted in despite requests to cease and desist and, therefore, intended to cause not only reputational harm but also financial loss to Dr Soon; and
  4. If the report’s findings be found in substance correct, to order the Smithsonian to apologize publicly to Dr Soon and to make just and full restitution to him for the loss and damage it and its senior management have intentionally caused.
Author
Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, was Special Advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1982 to 1986.
monckton@mail.com