News Releases

Smithsonian Statement: Dr. Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon

February 26, 2015

The Smithsonian is conducting inquiries to address the allegations that Dr. Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon failed to disclose to journals the funding sources for his climate change research.

The Smithsonian Inspector General is reviewing the matter. In addition, Acting Secretary Albert Horvath has asked distinguished scientist Dr. Rita Colwell to lead a review of Smithsonian ethics and disclosure policies governing the conduct of sponsored research and publication to ensure they meet the highest standards. Dr. Colwell is past director of the National Science Foundation, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a past member of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s advisory board.

Dr. Soon is a part-time researcher employed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass. to conduct research on long-term stellar and solar variability. Dr. Soon pursues external sources to fund his research activity.

The Smithsonian does not support Dr. Soon’s conclusions on climate change. The Smithsonian’s official statement on climate change, based upon many decades of scientific research, points to human activities as a cause of global warming.

Smithsonian Statement on Climate Change:


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John Gibbons 
(202) 633-5187

Linda St. Thomas 
(202) 633-5188