Issue Date: April 25, 2016
AGU to keep ExxonMobil sponsorship
Leaders of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) will continue corporate sponsorship with ExxonMobil. AGU’s board considered whether accepting funding from ExxonMobil would conflict with its sponsorship policy, which says the society will not accept funding from promoters of scientific misinformation or those that would damage the society’s reputation. ExxonMobil is under investigation for allegedly spreading misinformation for decades about the link between fossil-fuel use and human-caused climate change. The leadership of the professional society for earth and planetary scientists came under fire in February for accepting financial backing from ExxonMobil for AGU’s annual meeting. In a blog post, AGU President Margaret Leinen says ExxonMobil contributed $35,000 in 2015 for a student breakfast during the society’s fall meeting and that future sponsorship would not be declined. “If AGU cannot turn down a mere $35K from a high-profile disinformer like Exxon, then it is hard to imagine it ever adhering to its bylaw,” MIT climate scientist Kerry Emanuel says.
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