Why is Smithsonian Taking Koch’s Cash?

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Koch Industries and its billionaire leaders are among the biggest funders of the climate denial machine. And now Koch money is funding a new wing of one our nation’s museums of record, the Smithsonian. In March, the National Museum of Natural History opened the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, after the billionaire polluter donated $15 million.

The museum has defended Koch, the ninth richest man in the United States, as a “philanthropist who is deeply interested in science.” Moreover, Smithsonian Human Origins Program director Rick Potts said, “our donors have no control over the content of our science or scholarship of our exhibits.” Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm, however, argues that the new exhibit “whitewashes the danger of human caused climate change.” See his post for more on the subject.

Think Progress has also been doing a bang-up job of covering David Koch’s anti-environmental work. Lee Fang today has a timeline of Koch’s polluter front groups dating back to 1977.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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