More Than Scientists is a left-of-center organization of scientists and others who are calling for left-progressive environmentalist policies to counter climate change. It was founded by Seattle-area angel investor and former Apple and Microsoft computer scientist Eric Michelman. The organization is an outgrowth of the Climate Change Education Project, which is also headed by Michelman.
The organization is best known for making videos in which scientists explain what motivates them to work on climate change-related issues and why the issue is so important to them. The organization works to promote its message with videos distributed on social media.
More Than Scientists was founded by Michelman in 2015 in response to alleged public relations victories by skeptics of human-caused climate change and opponents of left-progressive government policies proposed in response to the threat of climate change. Michelman launched the campaign to convince viewers of the videos to see scientists as just average people who were concerned about their families like them.
Michelman gathered together scientists and urged them to make videos describing what effects climate change has on them and what motivates them to study climate change. Michelman did have the scientists make the videos to report on the science but “to say what it will mean for people, what effect climate change will have on our children and grandchildren, and to urge that we take it seriously and act. In short, to talk as fellow parents and concerned citizens, making more of a personal connection with the people who need to hear their message,” he said in an interview.
Michelman also was not interested in teaching people about climate change science because he says the science is settled. “It’s about showing the science is settled. Studies consistently show that 97 percent of scientists agree. We want the public to both hear from them that, yeah, this is settled, but also see scientists for who they are. They’re our neighbors, our fellow citizens, and community members. They’re people with kids, and they’re worried about the future. When they say “I’m concerned about climate change and I think we need to act on it,” you can understand they’re saying it because they have kids just like you do.” said Michelman in an interview.
The leadership team of More Than Scientists includes various left-wing activists.
Eric Michelman is the director of the project. He is an entrepreneur and a climate activist who spent much of his time canvassing and campaigning for climate change related initiatives in the Seattle-area.
Sefanie Spear manages the media and public relations for the project. She has been an environmentalist for over 25 years. She is the founder and editor of EcoWatch, an environmentalist news website. She also owns an environmentalist energy lobbying company that lobbies on the state, local, and federal level.
Dylan Tuhoy is a Washington, D.C.-based web designer. He works mostly with left-wing organizations helping them get their message out.
Patrick DiCiacco is a former official with the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The project was funded out of Michelman’s pocket. However, he said he would be looking for grants in the future.