The attach inquiry by Tom Crowley and the response by Ross McKittrick maybe of interest of our readers. Both, Tom and Ross have no objections against publication.
Dear Prof. McKittrick:
I recently read a blog posting suggesting (but not demonstrating) that you may have accepted consulting fees from Exxon.
Could you please clarify for the record whether this is true?
If so, could you please state how much consulting fees you obtained, and the year or years it applied to?
Thank you for your attention,
Professor of Geosciences University of Edinburgh
Dear Prof. Crowley
Thank you for asking and giving me the chance to address this. I have never done any consulting for Exxon. I have never done any consulting for any energy company, or any other company, to the best of my recollection. Nor have I ever received any payment from Exxon in any amount at any time.
Personally I have no objection to researchers obtaining industry funding for their research, as long as they follow all the usual protocols to ensure transparency and external review of their work. In many cases having industry partners is essential for their work, and there are some
government grant competitions in Canada that require academics to find private sector partners to qualify. However in my case I have no need of such funding, I have never sought it and have never received it. My research is funded through peer-reviewed grant competitions at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and through internal grant competitions at the University of Guelph.
I realize there are persistent rumours on this. The usual basis is that I am a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver BC. My fellowship at FI is unpaid and in any case I have very little contact with the Institute these days. Also the FI does not do contract research, and does not allow donors any editorial input into publications. The few projects I have been involved in at the FI that required a budget were funded internally to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.