NAS Members Honored for Contributions to Science


Two members of the National Association of Scholars were honored last week for their contributions to scientific scholarship. David Legates, professor of climatology in the department of geography at the University of Delaware, and William Happer, the emeritus Cyrus Fogg Brackett professor of physics at Princeton University, received awards at the Heartland Institute’s tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC). Held in Washington, D.C. on June 11-12, the ICCC brought together more than 400 scientists, researchers, members of government, and other officials to discuss environmental science and policy.

Wherever the Evidence Leads

Dr. David Legates was honored with the Courage in Defense of Science Award, presented by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Dr. Legates is the former Delaware State Climatologist and in 1999 was awarded the Boeing Autometric Award for submitting the best paper in image analysis and interpretation.

Presented by Kathleen Hartnett White of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the Courage in Defense of Science Award honors Dr. Legates’ commitment to follow scientific evidence wherever it leads, even in the face of opposition. His emphasis on data has led him to dispute the claim that the number of extreme weather events has increased. He has also rebutted the oft-cited statistic that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is dangerous.

Dr. Legates has repeatedly been subjected to Freedom of Information requests by Greenpeace, and in February he was one of seven public intellectuals investigated by Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ). The NAS has defended Dr. Legates’ academic freedom, and the Delaware chapter of the NAS, headed by Jan Blits, has advocated for Dr. Legates within the University of Delaware. Dr. Legates’ story is profiled in the NAS report Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Legates recognized Dr. Blits and the NAS for their support, instructing the audience, “If you don’t know who they are, before you leave, make sure you figure out who they are.” Watch Dr. Legates’s acceptance speech here.

Alice in Climateland

Dr. Happer, another lifetime NAS member, received the 2015 Frederick Seitz Memorial Award, an award sponsored by the Science and Environmental Policy Project in honor of the great physicist and former president of Rockefeller University. Presented by Dr. S. Fred Singer, a close friend of Dr. Seitz’s, the award honors Dr. Happer’s many scientific accomplishments and his imperturbable courage in defending science from politicization. Dr. Happer’s contributions to science have been recognized in a number of previous honors. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Philosophical Society, and a fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society.

The Frederick Seitz Memorial Award honors Dr. Happer’s staunch defense of climate science from overly alarmist fears of global warming. Just last week Dr. Happer and two other members of the American Physical Society released an open letter asking the APS to reconsider its Draft 2015 Statement on Climate Change.

Watch Dr. Happer’s acceptance speech and lecture here. “Alice in Climateland” introduces the Climate Bureaucrat White Rabbit who always worries there is not enough time to avert danger; subjects of the Queen of Hearts painting white roses red and making cold climate models run hot; and the Queen of Climateland herself presiding over the trials of doubters in which the rule of “sentence first, verdict after” is practiced.

We commend Dr. Legates and  Dr. Happer on their awards and thank them for their contributions to the integrity of science.  

Images: Inside Climate News; Princeton University 

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