Science Museum Under Fire

Critics attack oil sponsorship deal

More than 50 prominent scientists and others have slammed the Science Museum for accepting sponsorship from an oil company.

In a letter to the Guardian, the signatories,which include Douglas Parr, the chief scientist of Greenpeace UK, Jonathan Oppenheim, a Royal Society university research fellow at University College London, and Green MP Caroline Lucas, said the museum “is handing a fossil fuel company legitimacy.”

The letter follows the opening of a revamped childrens’ gallery at the Science Museum, which is sponsored by Statoil, the Norwegian-ownedc multinational oil and gas company. Wonderlab: the Statoil gallery, opens on Wednesday and replaces the popular Launchpad gallery.

The letter urges the museum to drop its proposed entry charge which would be £22.50 for a family of four, because the admission price deters those from less privileged backgrounds. The letter says: “It is unacceptable for the Science Museum and Statoil to make future generations pick up the bill for their ill-made decisions.” 

The £6m renovation, which has made the gallery 60% larger,   will feature interactive exhibits, live demonstrations. Earlier, the Science Museums had dropped its sponsorship deal with Shell Oil.

Science Museum director Ian Blatchford, said: “We’ve already taken 30,000 bookings for school children to visit this extraordinary interactive gallery for free and our goal is to welcome 200,000 schoolchildren annually. That will mean twice as many of our most diverse and representative group of visitors enjoying this inspirational space for free as our previous interactive gallery could accommodate.”


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