Rodney Nichols

Rodney W. Nichols


  • A.B. Degree, applied physics, Harvard University. [1]


Rodney W. Nichols is an applied physicist. He was past President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences from 1992 to 2001.

He was previously Scholar-in-Residence at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Vice President and Executive Vice President of The Rockefeller University.

He has been the Research and Development manager in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, a member of the Board of Advisors to Foreign Affairs, and chair of the committee on Science and Technology for Development (COSTED) of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). [2]

Stance on Climate Change

Nichols was one of sixteen “scientists” who signed an inflammatory Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” that stated: [3]

“The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.”

Key Quotes

[Pending further investigation.]

Key Deeds

January 27, 2012

Nichols is one of 16 scientists who appended their signatures to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” [3]

The article argues that elected officials should avoid implementing climate change policy because it would “divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of 'incontrovertible' evidence.”

Other “scientists” whose signatures appear include Claude Allègre, J. Scott Armstrong, Jan Breslow, Roger Cohen, William Happer, William Kininmonth, Richard Lindzen, James McGrath, Burt Rutan, Harrison H. Schmitt, Nir Shaviv, Edward David, Michael Kelly, Henk Tennekes, and Antonino Zichichi..

Media Matters also reported on the article, and also found that most of the scientists who signed the Op-Ed have not published any peer-reviewed research in the area of climate change. They also contacted William Nordhaus, the economist who had been cited by the article, and he replied that it was a “Complete Mischaracterization Of My Work.” [17]

Interestingly, 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote their own essay, this on the realities of climate change, which had been rejected by the Wall Street Journal in favor of the sixteen-scientist letter. [18]

August 12, 2009

Nichols is a signatory to an open letter written by climate skeptic Will Happer that demands the American Physical Society (APS) change their statement on climate change to “more accurately represent the current state of the science.” [4], [5]

The new climate statement recommended by the letter includes the following:

“While substantial concern has been expressed that emissions may cause significant climate change, measured or reconstructed temperature records indicate that 20th -
21st century changes are neither exceptional nor persistent, and the historical and geological records show many periods warmer than today. In addition, there is an extensive scientific literature that examines beneficial effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide for both plants and animals.”

Signatories include climate skeptics David Douglass, Ivar Giaever, William Happer, Howard Hayden, Nicola Scafetta, and S. Fred Singer among others.


Participated in a George C. Marshall Institute report titled “Climate Science and Policy:
Making the Connection” (PDF). [8]

The report concludes:

“Uncertainty—about greenhouse gas emission rates, the effect of changes in greenhouse gas concentrations on climate, and the impact of changes in climate on humans and the environment— is pervasive in any assessment of potential climate change.”

Other climate change skeptics who participated in the report include Will Happer, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, and William O'Keefe.



According to his bio at the Atlantic Legal Foundation, he is the co-author of two books and “scores of papers.” [20] A search of Google Scholar reveals that none of his papers are remotely related to climate science, with many of them in the area of policy and research and development. 

Below is a (incomplete) list of his publications:


  1. Biography of Rodney W. Nichols,” News from the Rockerfeller University, May, 1979. Retrieved January, 2012, from, Document File 2025028077/2025028110/Rockefeller University.

  2. Rod Nichols,” Profile at WildAid. Archived October 7, 2007.

  3. No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2012.

  4. An Open Letter to the Council of the American Physical Society,” The Heartland Institute (Policy Documents) August 12, 2009.

  5. The Happer Letter: Re-Opening the Climate Change Debate,” NewsBurglar, June 26, 2009.

  6. Peter Gleick. “Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal,” Forbes, January 27, 2012.

  7. The Journal Hires Dentists To Do Heart Surgery,” Media Transparency, January 30, 2012.

  8. “Climate Science and Policy: Making the Connection” (PDF), The George C. Marshall Institute, 2001.

  9. Rod Nichols,” Profile at WildAid. Archived October 7, 2007.

  10. Board of Directors,” The George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  11. Manhattan Institute Board of Trustees,” Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Accessed January, 2012.

  12. Atlantic Legal Foundation's Leadership,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Accessed January, 2012.

  13. Board of Directors,” FAS. Accessed January, 2012.

  14. Staff & Consultants,” Alliance For Global Good. Google's cached verison of as it appeared on 21 Jan 2012.

  15. “Do Regulations Requiring Light Trucks To Be More Fuel Efficient Make Economic Sense?” (PDF), AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, February, 2003. Republished by the Heartland Institute.

  16. The AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies,” AEI Newsletter, November 1, 1998.

  17. The Journal Hires Dentists To Do Heart Surgery,” Media Transparency, January 30, 2012.

  18. Peter Gleick. “Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal,” Forbes, January 27, 2012.

  19. About,” Co2Coalition. Archived September 4, 2015.

  20. Rodney W. Nichols,” Atlantic Legal Foundation. Archived September 9, 2015.

Other Resources