Organisation - February 8, 2019

Rector Mol did not sign for climate truants

Albert Sikkema

For a moment, news reported that Wageningen rector Arthur Mol was one of the 350 scientists who supported school pupils skipping classes for a better climate. However: that was not true.

© Shutterstock, Marte Hofsteenge

In the open letter (article in Dutch), the 350 scientists express their support for the pupils’ actions for fast measures to mitigate climate change. Scientists such as Louise Vet (NIOO), Rik Leemans and Marcel Dicke (WUR), André Faaij (Groningen) and Klaas van Egmond (former RIVM and Utrecht) claim the current situation is in need of ‘political courage’ and ‘radical measures’. The list of signatories also included Arthur Mol, rector magnificus of Wageningen University. This got some media attention last Thursday (article in Dutch).

However, Mol claims never to have signed the climate note. ‘I sent an e-mail on that subject to the authors. Initiator Jan Rotmans has apologised and remove my name from the list. End of story.’

Mol did not read the climate note. ‘I have not yet had time to read the letter, but I do not sign this kind of letter by virtue of my position. Wageningen University does not have an opinion on the matter. Scientists as individuals can have an opinion, especially when they work in environmental and climate sciences, but I represent the institution.’

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