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Heartland Institute’s Leaked Documents Show Funding for Discouraging Science Education

(Pupils at Williamwood High School attend a math class on February 5, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland.)

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

It costs a pretty penny to question the findings of scientific research. Just ask the Heartland Institute and the Koch brothers.

An insider’s leak of confidential financial documents, first reported by site DeSmogBlog, suggests that the Charles Koch-funded libertarian think tank earmarked $100,000 for a special purpose. The money would be funneled towards convincing K-12 schools that, “the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain—two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.”

The documents project a 2012 budget of $7.7 million, a 70 percent bump from 2011. If verified, they could also confirm what environmental groups have long charged: That Heartland isn’t just throwing lavish conferences for climate skeptics—it’s committed to using funds reaped from coal mining corporations to cast doubt on established science.