The Discovery Institute and Public Relations

Recently, we noted that the Discovery Institute was bemoaning their lack of funds to support their anti-evolution activities. That claim was factually wrong. In fact, it turns out that over the past year they had enough money to hire a very high-profile public relations firm, Creative Response Concepts (CRC), to spread their message. This is the same firm that represents AT&T, the canonical American mega-corporation, among a long list of clients.

Other notable CRC clients include the “Contract for America”, Parents Television Council, Regnery Publishing (the firm that published Phillip Johnson’s book, Darwin On Trial), and the high-profile client of the 2004 USA presidential campaign, “Swift Boat Vets for Truth”.

CRC has earned its pay from the DI C~~R~~SC this year. CRC arranged the showing of the film, The Privileged Planet, at the Smithsonian Institution, and provided the New York Times with an op-ed piece by Cardinal Schoenborn, an event that now seems more and more to be a Discovery Institute publicity stunt.

Scientists base their work upon the content of reality, the facts of evolutionary biology and the productive and useful research that results from evolutionary concepts. The Discovery Institute instead appears to think large-scale media operations and public relations stunts determine the content of science. That’s what happens when you don’t have facts on your side. Hopefully, no amount of public relations expertise can substitute for that.

(Thanks to Andrea Bottaro and other PT bar crew for useful suggestions.)