Media Coverage

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Explore media coverage, opinion pieces and blogs relating to our work on oil sponsorship of arts and culture. This page also includes coverage of activity by other groups where they directly reference or relate to our work.

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See media coverage in previous years:     2020    2019    2018    2017    2016

Science Museum signed gagging clause with subsidiary of coal and energy giant Adani

Channel 4 News reveals that the Science Museum Group has signed another gagging clause as part of a sponsorship deal – this time with Adani.

Fatima Manji, Channel 4 News, 19th November 2021

Dozens of academics shun Science Museum over fossil fuel ties

The Guardian reveals that 60 scientists and contributors have signed a letter we co-ordinated, committing not to work with the Science Museum group until it announces a moratorium on fossil fuel partnerships.

Matthew Taylor, the Guardian, 19th November 2021

The Science Museum Wants Their Plastic Samples. They Refused

We are quoted in this story about three microplastic researchers who have backed out of an arrangement to send materials to the Science Museum in London in protest at its controversial deal with Shell. The Guardian also covered it here.

Matt Reynolds, Wired, 16th November 2021

Revealing Johnson’s talks with BP not ‘in public interest’, UK government says

We are quoted, talking about how difficult it has been to get the UK government to respond to our COP-related FOI requests.

Jenna Corderoy, Open Democracy, 11th November 2021

Hannah Fry on the Book Shambles podcast

Hannah Fry talks about her resignation on Robin Ince’s Book Shambles podcast at 44.45 minutes in. She reveals: ‘This was not the first action I took as a trustee… I hope that the resignation has the effect that the museum reflects on some of the criticism that’s come and approaches it with more scientific values of openness, inviting scrutiny and intellectual humility’

Book Shambles podcast, 4th November 2021

Trustees resign from Science Museum Group over Adani deal

The MA covers the story of two resignations from the Science Museum Group, as does the Art Newspaper, the Daily Mail and India Today.

Geraldine Kendall Adams, Museums Association, 2nd November 2021

BP boss’s COP26 talk on human rights blasted as ‘insult’

We respond to the news that BP’s CEO has snuck into the COP26 climat summit despite being barred from sponsorship or official participation.

Rob Edwards, The Ferret, 2nd November 2021

Cop26: Presenter Hannah Fry quits over Science Museum’s coal links [paywall]

“This is a debate where young people are leading the charge, and I cannot in good conscience remain in post while the museum is not listening to the very people it was built to inspire.”

Tom Ball, The Times, 30th October 2021

Front Row: with Science Museum director Ian Blatchford

We appear, as well as Science Museum director Ian Blatchford – who was not willing to debate us directly – talking about the problem with Adani’s sponsorship of the museum.

Front Row, BBC Radio 4, 26th October 2021

Fossil fuel firms were blocked from sponsoring COP26, with organisers questioning their net-zero plans

Culture Unstained’s co-director Dr Chris Garrard said: “For years, oil companies have been given prominent platforms at the UN climate negotiations, promoting themselves as climate leaders while they continued to pour millions into new fossil fuels – so this is a big step forward.”

Edie, 22nd October 2021

No formal Cop26 role for big oil amid doubts over firms’ net zero plans

The Guardian covers our investigation showing that major oil companies have been barred from sponsorship deals and official involvement at the COP26 climate summit, due to doubts over their claims of going ‘net zero’.

Matthew Taylor, The Guardian, 21st October 2021

Chris Garrard on BBC Politics Live

In the wake of the Adani announcement, our Co-Director Chris set up why Adani should have no place in the Science Museum: “Adani is behind the largest coalmine in Australia, which has been resisted by Indigenous communities.”

BBC Politics Live, 20th October 2021

Science Museum strikes ‘astonishing’ new sponsorship deal with coal giant Adani

They note the agreement comes weeks after protests and the resignation of a board member amid the huge backlash against Shell ‘greenwashing’ exhibition.

Harry Cockburn, The Independent, 19th October 2021

Science Museum chooses fossil fuel company as new climate show sponsor

The Guardian quotes Adrian Burragubba, an Indigenous traditional owner of land targeted by Adani for a huge coal mine: “By putting this company on a pedestal, the Science Museum is complicit in Adani’s violation of our human rights and destruction of our ancestral lands.”

Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 19th October 2021

London’s Science Museum agrees sponsorship with arm of coal producer Adani Group [paywall]

The FT breaks the huge story that the Science Museum has signed yet another fossil fuel sponsorship deal – this time with a coal company!

James Pickford, Financial Times, October 19th 2021

Science Museum board member resigns over oil sponsorship

Science Museum board member Professor Chris Rapley resigns over oil sponsorship. Also covered in City AM, the Museums Journal, Arts Professional, Museums and Heritage Advisor and the Ecologist.

Helen William, Evening Standard, 2nd October 2021

Science Museum used ‘misleading tool’ to justify big oil sponsorship [paywall]

An in-depth look at the museum’s use of the ‘entirely unsuitable’ Transition Pathway Initiative ‘management quality index’ to argue that its oil sponsors are doing enough on climate change.

Adele Redmond, Arts Professional, 5th August 2021

The Science Museum’s ‘Gagging Clause’ is the Tip of the Iceberg When it Comes to its Flawed Approach to Climate Change

An op ed by our Co-Directors detailing why the evidence we’ve uncovered is so damning for the Science Museum Group.

Chris Garrard and Jess Worth, DeSmog, 3rd August 2021

SMG under fire for ‘gagging clause’ in Shell deal

The Museums Association looks at the evidence unearthed in our investigation, examines the Science Museum Group’s defence, and points out the ways in which the museum appears to have contravened the MA’s Code of Ethics.

Geraldine Kendall Adams, Museums Journal, 30th July 2021

Greta Thunberg criticises Science Museum over Shell ‘gagging clause’

Greta Thunberg tweets her condemnation of the Science Museum following our revelations and many media outlets cover the fallout, including the Independent, Evening Standard, MSN, Art Newspaper, Morning Star and Ecologist.

Samuel Webb, The Independent, 30th July 2021

Science Museum gagged by sponsorship deal with Shell [paywall]

The Times picks up on our investigation and quotes us as saying ‘To sign a gagging clause to protect Shell puts other staff in a very difficult position and this should be of great concern to the museum sector as a whole.’

Ben Webster, The Times, 30th July 2021

Science Museum signed gagging clause with exhibition sponsor Shell

Channel 4 News breaks our major new investigation into how the Science Museum Group has been ignoring the science and shutting down critics.

Fatima Manji, Channel 4 News, 29th July 2021

Letter: a conflict of interest at the British Museum

A letter from our Co-Director arguing that Osborne’s links to BP ‘create clear conflicts of interest around one of the major controversies facing the museum today.’

Chris Garrard, Financial Times, 28th June 2021

Podcast: Activists protest Science Museum sponsorship

The Art Newspaper’s excellent podcast interviews our co-director Chris Garrard and Anya Nanning Ramamurthy of the UK Student Climate Network on the campaign so far.

The Week in Art, Art Newspaper, 25th June 2021

George Osborne appointed chair of British Museum

We comment on Osborne’s profound unsuitability for the post.

Rebecca Atkinson, Museums Journal, 24th June 2021

George Osborne appointed as new British Museum chairman

We are quoted in The Telegraph’s coverage of the news.

Craig Simpson, The Telegraph, 24th June 2021

Appointment of former UK Chancellor George Osborne as new British Museum chairman draws criticism

We are quoted responding to the shock appointment of a man with many ties to BP and a track record of slashing arts funding as the new chair of the British Museum.

Hannah McGivern, Art Newspaper, 24th June 2021

By greenwashing Shell, the Science Museum is failing young people

Youth striker Izzy Warren explains why UKSCN London are taking action to get the Science Museum to drop Shell.

Izzy Warren, Climate Home News, 21st June 2021

Science Museum Head Defends Shell Sponsorship of Climate Change Exhibition

DeSmog covers the internal email from Science Museum Director Ian Blatchford that we acquired, which shows him defending the oil industry and slamming his critics.

Adam Barnett, DeSmog, 19th May 2021

Boycott threatened over Shell’s sponsorship of Science Museum carbon capture exhibition

Both UKSCN London and Dr Emma Sayer who contributed to the exhibition without being told it would be sponsored by Shell were interviewed by Sky. Watch it here.

Lisa Holland, Sky News, 6th May 2021

SMG ‘should have been more upfront’ about Shell deal

Interview with exhibition contributer Dr Emma Sayer who says she was ’embarrassed’ to learn about oil sponsorship of the carbon capture exhibition

Geraldine Kendall Adams, Museums Journal, 30th April 2021

School climate strikers urge boycott of Science Museum show over Shell deal

Group hits out at oil and gas firm’s sponsorship of Our Future Planet exhibition as ‘appalling’

Matthew Taylor, Guardian, 26th April 2021

Why is the Science Museum still being contaminated by Shell’s dirty money?

George Monbiot responds to the news that Shell is sponsoring the Science Museum’s carbon capture exhibition.

George Monbiot, Guardian, 21st April 2021

London’s Science Museum Faces Backlash Over Oil-Sponsored Climate Exhibition

“By allowing Shell to sponsor this exhibition, the Science Museum is helping to boost the company’s cynical greenwash,” said Jess Worth, co-director of Culture Unstained.

Valentina Di Liscia, Hyperallergic, 19th April 2021

Science Museum faces climate pressure after Shell revealed as ‘major sponsor’

“It beggars belief that this iconic British institution has freely chosen to link up with Shell to sponsor their flagship climate exhibition at such a crucial time,” said Professor Bill McGuire.

Millie Turner, City AM, 16th April 2021

‘Staggeringly out of step’: Science Museum launches climate exhibition sponsored by Shell

We break the story that the Science Museum’s new flagship climate exhibition is being sponsored by fossil fuel giant Shell.

Samuel Osborne, Independent, 16th April 2021

In the Hope of Better Possible Futures – Why I Pulled Out of the Science Museum Event

Robin’s honest and personal blog about why he made the decision.

Robin Ince’s blog; 10th March 2021

Comedian Robin Ince Quits Science Museum Climate Event Over Oil Sponsorship

We’re quoted in this article about Robin’s principled decision to pull out of a Science Museum climate talk.

DeSmog UK, Caitlin Tilley; 10th March 2021

‘Things have to change’: third speaker pulls out of Science Museum Group climate talk in protest against oil sponsorship

Comedian and broadcaster Robin Ince becomes the third speaker to walk.

The Art Newspaper, Gareth Harris; 10th March 2021

George Monbiot pulls out of climate change talk at Science Museum over fossil fuel sponsors

The museum continues to be sponsored by oil giants BP and Equinor.

i Newspaper, Madeleine Cuff; 26th February 2021