Leonardo Da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius exhibition at the Science Museum. Source: Science Museum.
Adam Vaughan, Science Museum ends sponsorship deal with Shell, The Guardian, 13 November 2015
The Science Museum will not renew a controversial sponsorship deal with Shell in which the oil company provided significant funding for its high-profile climate change exhibition.
The museum in London answered a freedom of information request saying: “No, the Science Museum Group [formerly the National Museum of Science & Industry] does not have plans to renew its existing sponsorship deal or initiate a new deal or funding agreement with Royal Dutch Shell.”
The Shell arrangement – the value of which has not been made public – will lapse in December despite the fact that the museum’s director argued in June that such external funding was vital at a time of declining government funding.
Critics have previously attacked the choice of a fossil fuel company as a funder for the museum’s Atmosphere gallery on climate science and said emails show Shell sought to influence the programme. However, current and former directors of the museum have rejected the charges, saying no curatorial changes had been made on Shell’s behalf.
Chris Garrard, of campaign group BP or not BP?, which discovered the deal would not be renewed, called on the museum to end its relationship with BP as well.
“It’s no secret that Shell relentlessly lobbies against measures to tackle climate change – but the Science Museum went ahead with this ill-advised deal nonetheless. This is a step in the right direction, but the museum needs to stop legitimising the fossil fuel industry completely by ditching its deal with BP too,” he said.