COVETED ‘CARL SAGAN’ PRIZE GOES TO A SCIENTIST WHO ADMITTED TO CONNING A CONSERVATIVE THINK TANK
By MICHAEL BASTASCH
- The Carl Sagan prize will be awarded to Pacific Institute President-emeritus Peter Gleick.
- However, Gleick admitted he used “someone else’s name” to obtain confidential Heartland Institute documents.
- Heartland’s spokesman said Gleick’s receiving the award “sullies the memory of Carl Sagan.”
A prominent California-based scientist will be awarded a prestigious science award Friday, despite the fact he admitted to obtaining confidential documents from a conservative think tank “under someone else’s name” before leaking them to reporters.
Pacific Institute President-emeritus Peter Gleick will receive the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization, named for the late science communicator and physicist Carl Sagan. Gleick will be presented with the prize at Wonderfest in San Francisco.
Chosen by a committee, the Sagan prize is awarded to Bay Area scientists who progress “the public understanding and appreciation of science.” The prize also comes with $5,000. (RELATED: University of California Sued Over Stonewalling Of ‘Climate Litigation’ Documents)
“Sagan would be proud to know that Peter Gleick, so renowned for his research and his outreach, has received Wonderfest’s Sagan Prize for 2018,” Wonderfest’s founding executive director Tucker Hiatt said in a statement issued in late August.
Gleick been a prolific author and outspoken proponent of policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Gleick is also a critic of skeptics of catastrophic global warming, whom he’s called “deniers.”
In fact, Gleick admitted in 2012 his hatred for those who disagree with him on climate science led to a “serious lapse of my own professional judgment and ethics.”
Gleick admitted in a 2012 Huffington Post blog post he used “someone else’s name” to extract confidential internal documents and sensitive donor information from the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank skeptical of man-made global warming.
Gleick then leaked those documents, including one that might have been fake, to reporters. At the time, Heartland kept its donors private, in part, because activists had harassed them in the past. Gleick did this while chairing the American Geophysical Union’s panel on “Scientific Ethics.”
“My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved,” Gleick wrote in 2012.
Gleick was a frequent critic of Heartland’s, routinely criticizing the group for not publicly disclosing its donors. Gleick posed as a Heartland Institute board member to extract internal funding documents from the group, the group’s spokeman says.
A former Heartland board member speculated Gleick was the source of the leaked documents three days before the renowned scientists admitted to it.
“Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected,” Gleick wrote.
The Heartland Institute bills itself as the most prominent think tank that promotes skepticism of man-made global warming. The group routinely releases reports to counter the mainstream climate science narrative put out by the United Nations.