The U.S. Department of Energy emailed us the following statement:Katz specializes in astrophysics and had no experience with underwater drilling or environmental disasters. One publication described him as the "What Am I Doing Here Guy" on the Department of Energy's team.
"Dr. Chu (the U.S. Energy Secretary) has spoken with dozens of scientists and engineers as part of his work to help find solutions to stop the oil spill. Some of Professor Katz's controversial writings have become a distraction from the critical work of addressing the oil spill.
Professor Katz will no longer be involved in the Department's efforts." - Stephanie Mueller, Press Secretary, US Department of Energy
The views and opinions expressed by Professor Jonathan Katz on his personal Web page are his personal statements and do not represent the opinion of Washington University. Professor Katz clearly states this important distinction on his page, and he has the right to express opinion in this context and under these conditions. As long as Professor Katz does not use his University-conferred authority in matters related to students (grading, recommending, mentoring, etc.) to reward those who share his views or punish those who do not, and does not otherwise participate in any discriminatory activity that would violate the university's antidiscrimination policy, he has a right to free speech to express his opinions under the Web page policy of the university.The BND has the full statement. Read it here.