Auckland University of Technology has pulled its sponsorship of a show with celebrity atheist Lawrence Krauss following a raft of allegations he has been involved in inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Krauss is due to speak on a double-bill with Richard Dawkins at the Science of the Soul Tour in May in Auckland and Christchurch, but the promoter is undecided about whether the Australia and New Zealand shows will go ahead.

Australian-based promoter Think Inc has not made a decision about whether to hold the event and directors Suzi Jamil and Desh Amila said they were "still learning the facts and will make a comment in due course".

However sponsor of the Auckland event AUT, in a statement to the Herald, confirmed it had withdrawn partnership support from the show due to the recent allegations against him.


NZ-based Loop director Mikee Tucker said his event management firm, involved in the New Zealand shows, was also no longer supporting the event following the allegations.

A number of Krauss' public speaking arrangements have already been cancelled in America since allegations spanning over a decade about his inappropriate behaviour towards women were published by news website Buzzfeed last week. Krauss has strongly denied all the allegations.

Krauss did not appear at The Celebration of Science and Reason event in Phoenix, Arizona where he was scheduled to speak on Friday night following the allegations coming to light.

The American Physical Society has also uninvited Krauss from speaking at its 2018 meeting held in April, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) cancelled an alumni event where Krauss was due to speak in March.

Krauss is the Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University.

In a tweet, his employer The Arizona State University said it had "initiated a review in an attempt to discern the facts", but confirmed it had not received any complaints from ASU students, faculty or staff related to Krauss.

Krauss, is an author and advocate of scientific proliferation, education, and scepticism.

On announcing his tour to New Zealand last October, Krauss said the "whole world perspective has changed" since his last visit.

"More than ever, we need to speak out in favour of reason and evidence, now in the political spectrum and as well as the religious one."

Auckland University associate professor of microbiology Dr Siouxsie Wiles, who regularly challenges pseudoscience and irrationality on her blog and other platforms, commended AUT's decision and said Krauss' name was often heard on the whisper network as someone who was problematic and who young women should avoid.

Wiles said Think Inc should be introducing people to other like-minded speakers who were challenging irrationality in the public sphere and were not surrounded by serious allegations.

Dr Richard Easther, head of physics at Auckland University, believed the organiser was aware of Krauss' reputation before it organised the event and thought it would be irresponsible for them to hold it given the allegations.

"There was awareness in the community that reporters were working on a story about this because people had been asked questions.

"It's not an event that I would have wanted to see the University of Auckland support."

The NZ tour is still being advertised as being held at Auckland's ASB Theatre on May 10, and Christchurch's Isaac Theatre Royal, on May 11.