The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund protects the scientific endeavor by providing support and resources to scientists who are threatened, harassed, or attacked due to their findings or fields of study.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) protects the scientific endeavor by putting its legal expertise to work for scientists who are threatened or silenced due to their findings or fields of study. Our work preserves and expands scientists’ rights and strengthens the legal protections that promote scientific integrity.
CSLDF was established in 2011 by Scott Mandia, Joshua Wolfe, and Charles Zeller. The group came together in response to increasing legal attacks on climate scientists and the immediate need to defray the legal costs of an ideologically-motivated lawsuit against the University of Virginia and climate scientist Michael Mann.
The initial effort raised over $100,000 to pay for Mann’s legal bills. Following years of litigation, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in Mann’s favor in spring 2014.
Following this success, Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard University science historian and author of Merchants of Doubt, and Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground Inc., joined what would become CSLDF’s founding board.
As we grew into a permanent organization, we added to the legal and educational services we provide the climate science community. These include free legal aid clinics at major scientific gatherings, workshops, webinars, and continuing education courses for attorneys.
In 2015, we gained 501(c)3 status and hired our first executive director, Lauren Kurtz. We now have a staff of six, as well as a committed group of pro bono attorneys, law professors, and other volunteers who help us achieve our mission.
Meet the Driving Forces Behind CSLDF
We’re a focused, tenacious, and passionate group. Our diverse team includes lawyers, scientists, professors, filmmakers, media professionals, and fundraising experts.
Our attorneys are happy to talk with journalists about our work and topics at the intersection of climate and the law.
Take a Stand for Science
Science is under sustained attack. Your support help us fight for scientists and defend scientific integrity.