Scientists call out Science Museum over ties to big oil

  • A group that includes many leading climate scientists have today lodged a formal complaint with the Science Museum
  • The museum is accused of ‘undermining its integrity as a scientific institution’ by partnering with BP, Shell and Statoil despite their continued contribution to climate change
  • The complaint presents new evidence showing the museum knew about sponsors’ ties to corruption and climate disinformation but signed deals regardless
  • Today is the first day of Shell’s flagship science event Make the Future Live at Olympic Park, which has been labelled ‘greenwash’

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West Papua: operating in the middle of a genocide

Exiled West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda holds the Morning Star flag that represents West Papuan independence. You can be jailed for displaying it in his homeland.

BP’s massive project in Tangguh, Bintuni Bay, West Papua contains around 14.4 trillion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas. But the company’s investments and operations are helping to legitimise the region’s illegal occupation by Indonesia. Continue reading

Crushing protest in Idku, Egypt

Anti-BP protests on the streets of Idku, Egypt. Photo: Mika Minio-Paluello

BP has secured lucrative deals under successive administrations in Egypt regardless of their human rights records, from former dictator Hosni Mubarak to current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, elected following a military coup. Continue reading

‘Make the Future’: teaching children there’s a future for oil

Shell's cynical 'Make the Future' campaign was subvertised in June 2018

All fossil fuel companies invest large amounts in PR campaigns in a bid to shape their public perception. But Shell has been one of the most active in this area, developing elaborately emotive billboard posters, slick television commercials and more, to give the impression that its business plans are ‘greener’ than they really are. Continue reading

BP sponsorship has ‘a corrupting influence’

Activist theatre group BP or not BP? gatecrash a BP-sponsored Day of the Dead event at the British Museum

It’s no coincidence that BP – a company behind a record-breaking oil spill that continues to drill for new fossil fuels – sponsors a range of iconic cultural institutions that provide a cost-effective way of cleaning up its image.

By 2012, BP had carefully coordinated its UK sponsorship deals so that they ran in parallel. This meant that for the following five years, Tate, the British Museum, the Royal Opera House and the National Portrait Gallery would all be displaying BP logos on everything from blockbuster exhibitions about submerged cities to open air screenings of operas. Continue reading

How Shell shaped the story at London’s Science Museum

‘Drop the Shell, from Prestige to Disgrace’: a performance by Fossil Free Culture Nl in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, that saw 7 women simultaneously drink a thick black fluid from white shells and slowly let this fluid drip from their mouths to stain their crisp white dresses. Photo: Laura Ponchel

Oil and gas companies get many benefits out of sponsoring a museum, from boosting their brand image to sipping wine alongside politicians at exhibition openings. But sometimes, oil sponsors want to get more for their money and try to interfere in a museum’s decision-making. Continue reading