Amanda Maxham

Amanda Maxham


  • PhD, astrophysics, University of Nevada-Las Vegas (2011). [1]
  • Master’s degree, astronomy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2005). [1]
  • Bachelor’s degree, astronomy and physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001). [1]


Amanda Maxham is a policy advisor at The Heartland Institute and former research associate at the Ayn Rand Institute. [2], [3]

According to her Heartland Institute profile, “Maxham writes, speaks and gives interviews for ARI on topics in science and environmentalism, such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), DDT and pesticides, climate change and energy.”[2]

Maxham spoke at the Heartland Institute’s America First Energy Conference in 2018. Her profile there noted she “defends mankind’s moral right to use technology and supports the industrial capitalism that makes it possible” while “Amanda’s views offer a rational and exciting alternative to environmentalism.” [4]

Stance on Climate Change

August 7, 2018

[10:04] “The global average temperature has risen about a degree Celsius in the last 150 years or so. And human activity is responsible for likely most of that. We know also that fossil fuels make our lives better, incredibly better. So how do we judge whether this change in nature is good or bad?” Maxham asked during her presentation at the Heartland Institute’s America First Energy Conference in 2018. [5]

[12:55] “The greenhouse effect is real, and we need to consider carefully what affect the carbon dioxide has on our atmosphere because we care about individual human beings. About their prosperity and their safety. If it turned out that mankind was destroying our ability to thrive by burning fossil fuels, that would be a horrible tragedy. I don’t think that’s the case, but we need to think about the question and examine it for ourselves.” [5]

July 12, 2015

Speaking at the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, DC: [6]

[02:55] “Yes, climate change is real. As you’ve heard at this conference, the facts are that the greenhouse effect is real, that human beings have increased the atmosphere. Concentration of carbon dioxide promote 270 to 400 parts per billion in the last 100 years or so, and the global average temperature has risen about a degree Celsius in the past 150 years. But carbon dioxide is a weak driver of warming and models that are used to back up the idea that we’re heading for a catastrophe are unreliable. They failed to predict anything in the past 30 years. So thinking about the ‘it’s a catastrophe’ package There’s no reason to think that we’re heading for a catastrophe.”

[05:09] “The use of fossil fuels has been overwhelmingly positive for people’s lives, and instead of causing a catastrophe, fossil fuels have allowed people to adapt and to mitigate climate risk. In other words, the real catastrophe will be cutting our use of fossil fuels.”

Key Quotes

January 2016

[53:18] “I view the anti-GMO movement is kind of a, you know, an offshoot or a part of the environmentalist movement. I really think it shows obviously and horribly what they’re, what they’re about or, or what they’re not about,” Maxham said in an interview with Alex Epstein to discuss “the Virtues of GMOs.” [7]

Key Deeds

August 7, 2018

Maxham spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [8]

The purpose of this event is to promote and expand energy freedom in the United States, as outlined in President Donald Trump’s bold America First Energy Plan, a proposal first released during the 2016 presidential campaign. The president’s plan marks a decisive change in direction from the Obama administration’s ‘war on fossil fuels’ and focus on the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change,” the conference description reads. [9]

She spoke on a panel titled “Why CO2 Emissions Are Not Creating a Climate Crisis.” [4]

January 2016

Maxham appeared on an episode of the Center for Industrial Progress‘s “Power Hour” with Alex Epstein to discuss “the Virtues of GMOs.” [7]

November 30, 2015

Maxham published a report entitled “The Gene Revolution” for the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at the Koch-funded George Mason University (GMU) School of Law. [10]

“Dr. Maxham explores how innovations in biotechnology, enabled by the intellectual property rights that protect them, have led to the ‘Gene Revolution,’ where scientists use genetic engineering to dramatically improve human life. In order to combat widespread misinformation about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), she traces mankind’s long history of improving plants, animals, and microorganisms to better serve our needs,” the paper’s description reads. [11]

July 12, 2015

Maxham spoke at the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, DC. She spoke on a panel titled “Climate Policy Impacts”: [6]


  • The Heartland Institute Policy Advisor. [2]
  • Ayn Rand Institute — Former Writer & Research Associate (Aug 2012 – May 2018). [1]
  • University of Nevada-Las Vegas — Former Adjunct Professor (Aug 2012 – Aug 2013) and Visiting Assistant Professor (Aug 2011 – Aug 2013). [1]

Social Media


Maxham has been a frequent author at the Ayn Rand Institute’s blog, and formerly edited its podcast. [12]

According to her profile at the Heartland Institute, Maxham’s scientific research has been published in astrophysical and astronomical journals. A search of Google Scholar confirms this. That search also returns zero publications written by Maxham in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change. [13]


  1. Amanda Maxham,” LinkedIn. Accessed November 13, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  2. AMANDA MAXHAM,” The Heartland Institute. Archived November 13, 2018. URL:
  3. Amanda Maxham,” Ayn Rand Institute. Archived July 7, 2017. URL:
  4. AMANDA MAXHAM, PH.D.,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive URL:
  5. Amanda Maxham on Panel 3: Why CO2 Emissions Are Not Creating a Climate Crisis,” YouTube video uploaded by user “The Heartland Institute,” August 13, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  6. Amanda Maxham, ICCC10 (Panel 10: Climate Policy Impacts),” YouTube video uploaded by user “The Heartland Institute,” July 2, 2015. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  7. Power Hour: Amanda Maxham on the Virtues of GMOs,” Center for Industrial Progress, January 28, 2016. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.
  8. Speakers,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. URL:
  9. About,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 23, 2018. URL
  10. Amanda Maxham. “The Gene Revolution” (PDF), George Mason University School of Law, November 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  11. Devlin Hartline. “How IP-Fueled Innovations in Biotechnology Have Led to the Gene Revolution,” CPIP, November 30, 2015. Archived November 30, 2018. URL:
  12. Posts by Amanda Maxham at Impact Today. Accessed November 13, 2018.
  13. Google Scholar search for author Amanda Maxham. Performed November 2018.

Other Resources


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