Ray Hilborn, a prominent University of Washington fishery scientist, is under attack from Greenpeace for sometimes leaving out mention of industry funding he receives in articles published in academic journals and elsewhere.
In a letter sent Wednesday to university President Ana Mari Cauce, Greenpeace filed a complaint against Hilborn’s research practices, and asked for an investigation.
Hilborn, over the years, has been a critic of Greenpeace as well as other environmental groups and researchers he accuses of overstating the impacts of fishing on marine resources.
In the letter to Cauce, Greenpeace unleashed a broadside against the scientist.
“The failure of Dr. Hilborn to fully disclose his ties to industry put both scientific knowledge and the reputation of the University of Washington at risk,” wrote John Hocevar, Greenpeace USA’s ocean campaigns director.
Since 2003, Hilborn has brought in more than $3.55 million in industry dollars to the University of Washington, representing about 22 percent of the total outside funding he obtained from all sources during that period, according to documents released to Greenpeace under a public-disclosure request.
Hilborn reviewed Greenpeace’s complaint and issued a response. He said his research threatens the repeated assertions by the environmental group that overfishing is universal and that the oceans are being emptied.
“Obviously they are getting desperate because they haven’t been able to mount any type of attack on the quality of the science that I and this large group of collaborators have produced,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “So they got to attack the messenger.”