Research Fund Used for Political Ends

Research money from the oil industry was used by University of Calgary academics to promote skepticism about human-caused climate change.

By | September 19, 2011

FLICKR, NATHAN MACALUSO

Donations to a research fund at the University of Calgary totaling over $500,000 were reportedly used by academics to cover expenses related to communications consultants, advertisements, and other activities intended to cast a doubt on human contributions to climate change. Funneling the money through the university allowed it to be deducted from donors' taxes, according to The Calgary Herald.

"This was never about science," Greenpeace Canada climate and energy campaigner Keith Stewart told Postmedia News. "It was about implementing a political strategy." He added, "I am surprised that a university would channel donor dollars to support this kind of anti-science agenda."

In 2007, the university shut down the account after an audit determined that funds were being used in a political manner. A freedom of information act request, logged by  Postmedia News in 2008, recently brought the accounting documents to light.

(Hat tip to The Chronicle of Higher Education.)

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Comments

Avatar of: Mark Riggle

Mark Riggle

Posts: 6

September 19, 2011

Just to balance it; there is political fuel going on both sides of the debate.  I think  Hanson had said something like: it was OK to talk about the worst case scenario as the likely case in order to motivate the public into action on climate-change.  That certainly also crosses the line from science into public policy manipulation; and also crossed his job category.
 

Avatar of: RobertD

RobertD

Posts: 1457

September 19, 2011

your "balance" point would be much stronger if you provided references, rather than "I think someone said something like..."

In any case, this article is about tax fraud rather than politics or science.

Avatar of: Mike

Anonymous

September 19, 2011

So why isn't this receiving the media attention that the UEA email "scandal" did?

Avatar of: Jeff Reiland

Anonymous

September 19, 2011

Because both sides on every trend do this all the time, so much so that it is not newsworthy* so the fact that it is getting any attention is elightening to the motives of this publication.

*Actually what is newsworthy is how much behind the scenes money handling goes on before anything is published or aired; as it is all politics/advertising in that the decisions everybody makes about anything is based on inforamtion that has mostly been acquired through these means.  The public is fickle, how did Angry Birds become such a hit?!?!?

Avatar of: Fred

Anonymous

September 19, 2011

The article makes it clear that the industry used the University to obtain a tax break on a donation. What is unclear is how the funds were used, although the implication is that they were funneled unethically solely to support a particular viewpoint.

The unanswered question is the extent to which the University was complicite. The article indicates that the program was audited and shut down suggesting that the University was caught in a ruse and, once discovered, the University took steps to stop in. The remaining questions are who within the University participated in the ruse, what were the punishments and how is the University preventing that in the future? 

Avatar of: Mhall1725

Anonymous

September 19, 2011

It's not a whole lot different from what the Tobacco people did with their "research" projects. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

Just to balance it; there is political fuel going on both sides of the debate.  I think  Hanson had said something like: it was OK to talk about the worst case scenario as the likely case in order to motivate the public into action on climate-change.  That certainly also crosses the line from science into public policy manipulation; and also crossed his job category.
 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

your "balance" point would be much stronger if you provided references, rather than "I think someone said something like..."

In any case, this article is about tax fraud rather than politics or science.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

So why isn't this receiving the media attention that the UEA email "scandal" did?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

Because both sides on every trend do this all the time, so much so that it is not newsworthy* so the fact that it is getting any attention is elightening to the motives of this publication.

*Actually what is newsworthy is how much behind the scenes money handling goes on before anything is published or aired; as it is all politics/advertising in that the decisions everybody makes about anything is based on inforamtion that has mostly been acquired through these means.  The public is fickle, how did Angry Birds become such a hit?!?!?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

The article makes it clear that the industry used the University to obtain a tax break on a donation. What is unclear is how the funds were used, although the implication is that they were funneled unethically solely to support a particular viewpoint.

The unanswered question is the extent to which the University was complicite. The article indicates that the program was audited and shut down suggesting that the University was caught in a ruse and, once discovered, the University took steps to stop in. The remaining questions are who within the University participated in the ruse, what were the punishments and how is the University preventing that in the future? 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

It's not a whole lot different from what the Tobacco people did with their "research" projects. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

Just to balance it; there is political fuel going on both sides of the debate.  I think  Hanson had said something like: it was OK to talk about the worst case scenario as the likely case in order to motivate the public into action on climate-change.  That certainly also crosses the line from science into public policy manipulation; and also crossed his job category.
 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

your "balance" point would be much stronger if you provided references, rather than "I think someone said something like..."

In any case, this article is about tax fraud rather than politics or science.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

So why isn't this receiving the media attention that the UEA email "scandal" did?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

Because both sides on every trend do this all the time, so much so that it is not newsworthy* so the fact that it is getting any attention is elightening to the motives of this publication.

*Actually what is newsworthy is how much behind the scenes money handling goes on before anything is published or aired; as it is all politics/advertising in that the decisions everybody makes about anything is based on inforamtion that has mostly been acquired through these means.  The public is fickle, how did Angry Birds become such a hit?!?!?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

The article makes it clear that the industry used the University to obtain a tax break on a donation. What is unclear is how the funds were used, although the implication is that they were funneled unethically solely to support a particular viewpoint.

The unanswered question is the extent to which the University was complicite. The article indicates that the program was audited and shut down suggesting that the University was caught in a ruse and, once discovered, the University took steps to stop in. The remaining questions are who within the University participated in the ruse, what were the punishments and how is the University preventing that in the future? 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 19, 2011

It's not a whole lot different from what the Tobacco people did with their "research" projects. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 20, 2011

UNiversity of Calgary should refund the money !

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 20, 2011

UNiversity of Calgary should refund the money !

Avatar of: Froggie

Anonymous

September 20, 2011

UNiversity of Calgary should refund the money !

Avatar of: Tom Hennessy

Tom Hennessy

Posts: 1457

September 24, 2011

“I am surprised that a university would channel donor dollars to support this kind of anti-science agenda.â€쳌

Some of the parents of the University of Calgary students expressed their dismay that their children were being used as researchers for the oil industry and thusly their education was being restricted and therefore less than expected. It should come as no surprise they 'may' side with the oild companies. AS IF the Universities are above corruption . They are hotbeds of atheism and atheists are far more prone to corruption.
"Lacking a “moralizing godâ€쳌 — made the most unfair offers to strangers""Farming's rise cultivated fair deals"

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 24, 2011

“I am surprised that a university would channel donor dollars to support this kind of anti-science agenda.â€쳌

Some of the parents of the University of Calgary students expressed their dismay that their children were being used as researchers for the oil industry and thusly their education was being restricted and therefore less than expected. It should come as no surprise they 'may' side with the oild companies. AS IF the Universities are above corruption . They are hotbeds of atheism and atheists are far more prone to corruption.
"Lacking a “moralizing godâ€쳌 — made the most unfair offers to strangers""Farming's rise cultivated fair deals"

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

September 24, 2011

“I am surprised that a university would channel donor dollars to support this kind of anti-science agenda.â€쳌

Some of the parents of the University of Calgary students expressed their dismay that their children were being used as researchers for the oil industry and thusly their education was being restricted and therefore less than expected. It should come as no surprise they 'may' side with the oild companies. AS IF the Universities are above corruption . They are hotbeds of atheism and atheists are far more prone to corruption.
"Lacking a “moralizing godâ€쳌 — made the most unfair offers to strangers""Farming's rise cultivated fair deals"

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