Louisiana’s flagship university lets oil companies influence research in exchange for donations, grantee reveals

Graphic created by The Guardian.

Louisiana State University is letting oil companies influence its research work – if they donate enough money to the university – according to a new report by Sara Sneath, with support from the Fund. For a story co-published by The Lens in New Orleans and The Guardian, Sneath obtained emails and documents that the university’s fundraising arm circulated to oil and chemical companies, offering them influence over research projects and coursework in exchange for donations. Sneath found that after Shell donated $25 million to the university, the company was allowed to shape research and coursework for a new concentration in carbon capture, use and storage. For $2 million, Exxon was allowed to review academic studies. Sneath received free legal assistance through the Fund’s partnership with Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.