Behind that “scientists’ letter” on climate denial as legal offense

Remember that “scientists’ letter” in which twenty or so credentialed scientists signed their names to a letter asking that so-called climate deniers be investigated, as Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) had been demanding? On inquiry, however, some of the signatories did not seem to know much about the letter or to be particularly committed to the idea. According to David Rifkin and Andrew Grossman’s new Wall Street Journal piece (ungated here), open records requests have now established that the letter was coordinated by Sen. Whitehouse himself. Background here, here, etc.

Rifkin and Grossman also announce the formation of a new, and badly needed, Free Speech in Science Project. “The project will fund legal advice and defense to those who need it, while executing an offense to turn the tables on abusive officials.”


  • Republican Senators should move to censure Sen Sheldon Whitehouse for violating his oath to support the Constitution, specifically the free speech and press provisions of the First Amendment. They might not carry the 2/3 vote to win, but the country would respect them for trying. There are far weaker issues on which to fight the November election.

    • It’s a good idea, but it would interfere with their intended violations.