NEW YORK — The scientist at the center of a controversy over fossil-fuel funding for climate research denounced his critics Monday and said that he would be “happy to comply” with possible additional disclosure requirements from scientific journals publishing his papers.
In his first detailed public statement since the controversy erupted more than a week ago, Wei-Hock Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, complained that he had been the subject of unfair attacks in the press, which he ascribed to “various radical environmental and politically motivated groups.”
He added: “This effort should be seen for what it is: a shameless attempt to silence my scientific research and writings, and to make an example out of me as a warning to any other researcher who may dare question in the slightest their fervently held orthodoxy” on climate issues.
The Smithsonian Institution has responded to the controversy by starting an inquiry into his activities and a review of its disclosure and ethics policies for research.
Soon’s statement was released by the Heartland Institute of Chicago, which supports the work of scientists who dispute the scientific consensus on climate change.
Several news organizations reported that Soon had failed, in a string of scientific papers, to disclose his funding from a coal-burning utility.