Zachary Moore attended the DI’s Darwin vs. Design traveling show. He got an interesting insight while chatting with Todd Norquist, of the DI’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture:
I asked him how many of these conferences were planned by the Discovery Institute, and he seemed hesitant, telling me that he didn’t know if any more of them were going to be possible, since the costs were too high for the Institute to handle. … He then told me (quite openly, also, which I thought was odd) that the financial situation of the Discovery Institute was grim, and that they were “bleeding money” and were “barely able to keep the lights on in Seattle.”
They’ve spent that money with some success though. Not that they’ve managed to turn their millions of dollars into any actual research, but Matt Nisbet points out they’ve been very effective at reframing science by talking about it in ways that play on the cognitive shortcuts journalists and the public rely on.
Unfortunately for them, you can’t make much money with nothing to sell, and bogus spin can’t win the fight for you. There has to be something behind it.