Science Museum Group’s partnerships with BP, Shell & Equinor

Our campaign so far…

We revealed in The Guardian how partners of the Manchester Science Festival pulled out when they discovered that oil giant Shell would sponsor the headline exhibition taking place at the city’s Science and Industry Museum.


Hansen Packham image

We supported 46 scientists who backed a formal complaint to the Science Museum Group, making the case that its partnerships with BP, Shell and Equinor breach the organisation’s own values and Ethics Policy.



Through Freedom of Information requests and background research, we’ve exposed how oil sponsors have used partnerships with the Science Museum to further their business plans. Find out more here.


Shell Logos - Public Domain

Prior to founding Culture Unstained, we revealed on the front page of The Guardian how Shell had attempted to influence the Science Museum’s climate exhibition, ‘Atmosphere’.


Quick Facts

The Science Museum Group’s partnerships with three major oil and gas firms

Despite the mounting climate crisis, the Science Museum Group has worked in close partnership with three oil and gas giants – BP, Shell and Equinor – since the early 2000s.

  • Equinor – the Norwegian oil and gas giant currently drilling in the Arctic – is the title sponsor of ‘Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery’, an interactive science space for children which opened in 2016.
  • Shell was sponsor of the Science Museum’s ‘Atmosphere’ exhibition on climate science but internal emails revealed in 2015 how the oil giant attempted to influence the exhibition’s curation. The partnership did not end, however, and in 2018, Shell sponsored the exhibition ‘Electricity: the spark of life’ at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester.
  • BP worked hand in hand with the Science Museum on the creation of its Energy Gallery in 2003. More recently, BP has hosted a series of ‘STEM Academies’ to train teachers on how to deliver science education as well as hosting the annual awards ceremony of its ‘Ultimate STEM Challenge’ in the museum.