Greta Thunberg slams the Science Museum for ‘killing their own reputation’ over Shell deal

Greta Thunberg slams the Science Museum for ‘killing their own reputation’ over Shell deal

Greta Thunberg has accused the Science Museum of killing “their own reputation” by signing a gagging clause with Shell preventing it from saying anything that could damage the company’s reputation.

Writing on Twitter, the climate activist shared news that the museum has signed the deal meaning that its climate change exhibition, Our Future Planet, which opened in May this year and is controversially sponsored by the oil company, may not make any mention of Shell in a negative light.

She said:

According to Channel 4 News, the Science Museum signed a contract with Shell when they negotiated the oil company’s sponsorship of the event in which they agreed they would “not at any time” during the exhibition term “make any statement or issue any publicity or otherwise be involved in any conduct or matter that may reasonably be foreseen as discrediting or damaging the goodwill or reputation of the Sponsor”.

A Science Museum spokesperson told Channel 4 News that “energy companies need to play a big part” in the “transition to a low carbon economy” and that “we regard the blanket approach demanded by some campaigners of severing all relationships with energy companies as unproductive.”

A Shell spokesperson said: “We fully respect the museum’s independence. That’s why its exhibition on carbon capture matters and why we supported it. Debate and discussion – among anyone who sees it – are essential.”

But Thunberg is not the only person to come out against the museum. Writing on Twitter, numerous people expressed their concerns about the agreement:

Meanwhile, since the sponsorship deal was announced, numerous climate activists have been protesting outside the museum with a student activist group threatening to boycott it all together.

“The fact that Shell, a company with a vested interest in the continued use of fossil fuels, is financially supporting an exhibition about climate change solutions is appalling,” the UK Student Climate Network said in an open letter, signed by several environmental groups and climate scientists in April.

“We condemn the Science Museum’s decision to accept this sponsorship and provide Shell with an opportunity for brazen green-washing.”

Dr Emma Sayer, a scientist from Lancaster University who worked on the exhibition, added at the time:

“I was very disappointed to hear that the exhibition was sponsored by Shell and I’m unhappy that my name as a contributor is now linked to that sponsorship.

“I think the museum directors were perhaps a little naive about the strength of feeling around such sponsorship.”

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