Before he was a vocal climate-change contrarian, Dr. Singer had an illustrious scientific career. An early rocket scientist whose work was important to the development of earth observation satellites, he was a professor at the University of Maryland, the University of Miami and the University of Virginia, among other institutions, alternating with positions in government.
From 1962 to 1964, he was director of what was known as the National Weather Satellite Center. He was the deputy assistant secretary for water quality and research at the Department of the Interior from 1967 to 1970 and then, until 1971, the deputy assistant administrator for policy at the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency. From 1987 to 1989, he was chief scientist at the Department of Transportation.
In 1990, Dr. Singer created the Science and Environmental Policy Project “to challenge government environmental policies based on poor science,” as the group’s website states. He would later try to undercut the work of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by creating a think tank called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.
Siegfried Fred Singer was born on Sept. 27, 1924, in Vienna to Joseph Singer, a jeweler, and his wife, Anna. His family fled the Nazis, sending him to England through the kindertransport program. He made his way to the United States in 1940 and was reunited with his family in Ohio.
He graduated from the Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1943. He signed naturalization papers in 1945, while serving in the Navy. He received a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1948.
Dr. Singer married Isabel Robbins in 1979; they divorced in 1983. In 1990 he married Candace Carolyn Crandall, who helped set up the Science and Environmental Policy Project. They divorced in 2000. He had no children from either marriage, though he had five stepchildren. A sister, Melanie Watkins, died last year. His survivors include his stepchildren Erin Gifford and Ryan Hill, and a close extended family.more » « less