The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) protects the scientific endeavor by providing support and resources to scientists who are threatened, harassed or attacked for doing their jobs.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) protects the scientific endeavor by putting our legal expertise to work for scientists who are threatened or silenced for doing their jobs. Our efforts and educational resources preserve and expand scientists’ rights and strengthen legal protections to promote scientific integrity.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund 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 help defray the legal costs of an ideologically motivated lawsuit against the University of Virginia and atmospheric scientist Dr. 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, and in realization of the need to become a stronger, more permanent organization, Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard University science historian and author of Merchants of Doubt, and Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground Inc., joined what later became the organization’s founding board.
As we grew, we added to the legal support and education services we provide the climate science community. These now include legal clinics at major scientific gatherings, workshops, webinars, and continuing legal 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 five, 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.