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:     2019    2018    2017    2016

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

UK held private talks with fossil fuel firms about Glasgow Cop26

Our investigation reveals documents that show BP, Shell and Equinor had several meetings with government officials in an attempt to partner around the upcoming Glasgow climate summit

Guardian, Matthew Taylor and Fiona Harvey; 1st October 2020

Letter: BP is still not fully aligned with Paris climate goals

A letter in the FT from our co-director Chris Garrard in response to BP’s announcement of its ‘net zero ambition’ and many commentators not looking behind the headlines at the loopholes and shortcomings of the plan.

Financial Times, Chris Garrard; 15th September 2020

BP will not help judge portrait award for first time since 1997

We broke this development, which appears to have been decided following intense criticism of the oil company’s role in the BP Portrait Award last year

Guardian, Lanre Bakare; 3rd May 2020

Tortoise Media’s ‘Uncomfortable’ Relationship With BP

Taking a look at a problematic partnership with BP

DeSmog UK, Sophie Yeo; 6th April 2020

Partnership between Shell and Southbank Centre to end

Classical music venue’s long-running relationship with Shell to conclude

Rhinegold, Melissa Bradshaw; 13th March 2020

Statement on Shell Corporate Membership

Southbank branch of PCS comment on end of relationship with oil firm

PCS Southbank Branch; 11th March 2020

Comment: Museum top brass are losing the oil money plot

Prominent art critic dissects the lacklustre responses of museum directors

The Art Newspaper, Ben Luke; 10th March 2020

Oil firm Shell to end its relationship with BFI and Southbank Centre

All three South Bank cultural institutions will now move beyond relationships with Shell

Guardian, Matthew Taylor; 9th March 2020

Letter: Stand firm — don’t let the oil majors off the hook

Our response to energy analyst Nick Butler’s opinion piece in the FT

FT, Dr Chris Garrard; 5th March 2020

Museums’ Rejection of Fossil Fuel Sponsorship Is More Than Just Symbolic. Here’s Why It Can Have Real-World Impact

Our opinion piece for international art news site ArtNet

ArtNet, Chris Garrard; 28th February 2020

Trustee Who Funds Climate Change Deniers Leaves Natural History Board

Prominent funder of climate denial forced of museum Board in US

The New York Times, Robin Pogrebin; 27th February 2020

Is there a dark side to our London museums?

Feature on the ethics of arts sponsorship with focus on fossil fuel funders

Evening Standard Magazine, Hettie Judah; 19th February 2020

Responding to BP’s “net zero” announcement on Sky News

We scrutinise the lack of substance behind BP’s latest announcement

Sky News; 12th February 2020