Open letter to the Science Museum

If you are a former or potential contributor to the Science Museum Group and would like to add your name to the letter, you are encouraged to do so here. Read about the background to this letter here.

19th November 2021

Dear Science Museum Group Senior Leadership Team and Trustees,

We are deeply concerned that the Science Museum Group is undermining its reputation as a group of leading scientific and educational institutions by partnering with oil and gas companies Shell, BP and Equinor, and now coal conglomerate Adani. We are in a climate crisis and should not be doing anything to legitimise those companies that are still driving up emissions by exploring for and extracting new sources of fossil fuels when the science is clear that we need to be leaving them in the ground. We are particularly concerned by the impacts of their oil, gas and coal extraction on Indigenous communities around the world, and on the futures of the young people who form such an important part of your audience.

Many of us have excellent personal relationships with the talented and committed members of staff that deliver the Science Museum’s programme but we can no longer be complicit in the policies adopted by the Group’s senior leadership and trustees. With sadness therefore, we commit not to work with any organisations in the Science Museum Group until it announces a moratorium on partnerships with fossil-fuel-producing companies. This means publicly committing not to renew any existing contracts when they expire, or to form any new ones until, at the very least, the company demonstrates a credible plan for phasing out fossil fuels in line with the Paris 1.5°C target.

We hope that the Senior Leadership Team and Trustees of the Science Museum Group will appreciate this is not an easy decision for us to make. It means a loss of income for us as companies and freelancers, and reduced opportunities for audiences to engage with and be inspired by our work. But until the SMG changes its position and its primary sponsors we cannot, in good conscience, partner with you.

Signed:

  1. Dr Deonie Allen, researcher, University of Strathclyde Glasgow
  2. Dr Steve Allen, Dalhousie University Canada, University of Birmingham UK
  3. Kirsti Ashworth, Researcher in Atmospheric Sciences, Lancaster University
  4. Margrete Auken, Member of the European Parliament
  5. Wolmet Barendregt, Eindhoven University of Technology
  6. Dr Tom Barker, Graduate School of the Environment, Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales
  7. Heather Barnett, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
  8. Mike Berners-Lee, Professor of Sustainability, Lancaster University
  9. Dr. Kenneth John Bignell, Imperial College
  10. Dr Alex Bush, Lancaster University
  11. Professor Paul Chatterton, University of Leeds
  12. Dr David L Clements, Reader in Astrophysics, Imperial College London
  13. David Cross, Reader in Art and Design, University of the Arts London
  14. Prof Mathias Disney, Professor of Remote Sensing, University College London Dept of Geography
  15. Graeme Eddolls, University of Glasgow
  16. Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy, University College London
  17. Eleonora Evi, MEP
  18. Dr Alison Green, Executive Director, Scientists Warning Foundation (www.scientistswarning.org)
  19. Professor Chris Griffiths, Professor of Primary Care, Co-Director, Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, Queen Mary University of London
  20. Dr Emily Grossman, science author, broadcaster and public speaker
  21. Dr Sedat Gundogdu, Chief Scientist, Microplastic Research Group, Cukurova University
  22. Joanna Haigh, Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Imperial College London
  23. Dr Jordan Harold, Lecturer, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and University of East Anglia, School of Psychology
  24. Christopher Haydon, Theatre Director
  25. David Humphreys, Professor of Environmental Policy, Open University
  26. Prof Kate Jeffery, Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience, UCL
  27. David A. Kirby, Professor of Science, Technology and Society, Cal Poly University
  28. Prof Georgy Koentges, University of Warwick, Professor of Biomedicine and Evolution
  29. Sam Langford, Science Communicator & Engagement Consultant
  30. Esther Lie, Engagement professional, King’s College London
  31. Jack Lowe, Artistic Director/CEO curious directive theatre company
  32. Rebecca Manson Jones (Artistic Director) & John Holmes (Executive Director), Spare Tyre Theatre
  33. Dara McAnulty, Naturalist, Author and Environmental Campaigner
  34. Jim McCambridge, Professor, Dept of Health Sciences, University of York
  35. Bill McGuire, Professor Emeritus in Geophysical & Climate Hazards, UCL
  36. Professor Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology
  37. George Monbiot, journalist, author, environmental activist
  38. Jenny Nelson, Professor of Physics, Imperial College London
  39. Chris Packham, naturalist and broadcaster
  40. Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility
  41. Professor Rona Patey, University of Aberdeen
  42. Zephyr Penoyre, Researcher in Astrophysics, University of Cambridge
  43. Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Member of the European Parliament
  44. Robert Pollin, Distinguished University Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  45. Professor Megan J Povey, University of Leeds
  46. Jane Rendell, Professor of Critical Spatial Practice, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
  47. Professor Alfred William Rutherford FRS, Chair of Biochemistry of Solar Energy
  48. Emma J. Sayer, Reader in Ecosystem Ecology, Lancaster University
  49. Andrew Simms, Co-director, New Weather Institute
  50. Jon Spooner, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Unlimited Theatre
  51. Dr Leo Steeds, University of Warwick
  52. Dr Katie Steckles, freelance maths communicator
  53. Dr Khalil Thirlaway, Science Communicator
  54. James Thornton, Founding CEO, ClientEarth
  55. Professor Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martins, Pro Vice-Chancellor University of the Arts London
  56. Cristina Torrente, Science Communicator
  57. Matthew Tosh, Presenter and Pyrotechnician
  58. Jess Turtle, Co-founder, Museum of Homelessness
  59. Gordon Walker, Professor, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University
  60. Dr Benjamin Waterhouse, Doctor
  61. Robert Tony Watson, Professor Emeritus University of East Anglia, former chair IPCC, IPBES
  62. Dr Rebecca Whittle, Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University
  63. Professor Dilys Williams, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion
  64. Rebecca Willis, Professor of Energy and Climate Governance
  65. Tristram Wyatt, Senior Research Fellow, Zoology Dept, University of Oxford
  66. Daniel York Loh, Writer/Actor/Filmmaker
  67. Danielle Zelli, Education Programmes Facilitator