David Koch has left his seat on the board of directors of the American Museum of Natural History. Climate scientists have been calling for the conservative oil billionaire to get his fingers out of science museums, and people are celebrating Koch’s resignation as a victory. In 23 years on the board, Koch has made over $20 million in donations, and has dinosaur halls named after him, but he and his brother have also reportedly given over $70 million to organizations that attempt to refute climate studies.
Koch’s term on the board ended with the annual trustees’ meeting on December 9, according to a spokesperson for the museum. The move was said to be “part of the normal course of business” for the board and a spokesperson for Koch, Cristyne Nicholas, told the Guardian that the billionaire’s decision to leave the board was unrelated to calls for his resignation.
Last year, some of the world’s leading climate scientists published an open letter, calling for U.S. museums to end their lengthy romance with fossil fuel moguls like Koch. Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and other environmental organizations called for the museum board to relieve Koch of his seat for months prior to this announcement. In the wake of this news, protesters continue to call on Koch to resign from his position on the board at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. There has been no indication that Koch intends to take that action.