Science Museum's sponsorship deal with Shell comes to an end - Museums Association

Science Museum’s sponsorship deal with Shell comes to an end

Campaigners call for the museum to end its relationship with BP
Nicola Sullivan
The Science Museum has revealed that it has no “future activities” confirmed with Shell after its five-year partnership with the oil giant comes to an end in December.
A spokeswoman for the Science Museum told the Museums Journal: “We have had a long- term relationship with Shell with whom we remain in open dialogue.” But she said no plans had been made for the museum to continue working with Shell.

The museum made the announcement after it was subject to a freedom of information request from the campaign group BP or not BP to reveal whether the deal would be renewed after December.

The partnership between the museum and Shell came under scrutiny in June when emails revealed that the oil giant had concerns about elements of the museum’s permanent exhibition Atmosphere, Exploring Climate Science and the extended Climate Changing programme.
The emails showed that Shell was concerned that the Rubbish Collection exhibition by the artist Joshua Sofaer, which documented waste generated by the museum over 30 days, created an “opportunity for NGOs to talk about some of the issues that concern them around Shell’s operations”. 

The oil giant also asked whether a seminar was invitation-only in order to avoid a discussion of the way it did business. At the museum said that curatorial staff had complete control during the partnership, but that it was normal for a sponsor to make suggestions.
Chris Garrard from BP or not BP, said it will now campaign for the Science Museum to ditch its deal with BP. “Shell should never have been allowed to sponsor an exhibition on climate science. 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.”


The headline has been changed to emphasise that the museum chose not to renew the agreement with Shell after it ended rather than ending it prematurely.

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