University pulls plug on climate sceptic’s centre

The Australian government’s controversial move to host a think tank headed by noted global warming sceptic Bjørn Lomborg has unravelled – for now. But Australia’s education minister has vowed to find a new home for the centre at a willing institution, writes Leigh Dayton for Science.

Last month, the University of Western Australia, or UWA, in Perth announced plans to set up an Australian Consensus Centre, chaired by Lomborg, that would conduct policy research on overseas aid, Australian prosperity, agriculture and regional issues. UWA announced that the federal government would contribute roughly one-third of the Australian Consensus Centre’s operating costs. The rest of the budget would come from corporate sponsors and government grants.

Scientists were outraged, especially when UWA revealed on 20 April that the government had already contributed A$4 million (US$3.3 million) to launch the think tank. Outrage grew after Fairfax Media newspapers revealed on 23 April that the push for the Australian Consensus Centre came from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a Lomborg admirer who quoted the Danish researcher favourably in his 2009 book Battlelines. Lomborg now sits on a government-appointed panel advising Australia's foreign aid programmes.
Full report on the Science site