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The Science Museum faces a barrage of opposition over its stance on fossil fuel sponsorship

August 2022:


Over 1000 tickets booked for the Science Museum's "India Lates” event went unused, as protesters called for the cancellation of the Museum’s sponsorship deal with Indian coal-producing conglomerate Adani. South Asia Solidarity Group questioned Museum Director Ian Blatchford about the Adani deal and left a 'Coal Out of Our Museum' message at the heart of the event. Read more

July 2022:


Hundreds of teachers pledge to boycott the Science Museum gallery sponsored by Adani. Over 400 teachers signed an open letter, saying "If your proposed Energy Revolution gallery (due to open in 2023) is sponsored by Adani, then we will not be bringing our students to it  – or any other exhibition sponsored by a fossil fuel company. Read more


June 2022:


Two protests in one day at the Science Museum demanded that it drop Adani as a sponsor.

May 2022:


The majority of the UK public thinks that the Science Museum should not accept fossil fuel sponsorship.

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April 2022:


Science Museum cancels event as speakers withdraw over fossil fuel sponsorship. Professor Celia Morgan and Dr Rosalind Watts pulled out of Lates at the Science Museum to protest against the management decision to continue accepting sponsorship from fossil fuel companies. Read more here

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February 2022:


Brazilian digital artist João Queiroz pulls out of the Science Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Voyage to the Edge of Imagination, in protest against its deal with Adani, in solidarity with Indigenous communities. Read more here.

January 2022:


Indigenous Voices are brought directly to the Science Museum via films played on an Ad Van, along with a solidarity protest organised by a coalition of 11 different groups (Coal Action Network; Culture Unstained; Fossil Free London; London Mining Network; Market Forces; South Asia Solidarity Group; Tipping Point UK; UK Student Climate Network London; Scientists for XR; Survival International; XR Hammersmith and Fulham)

January 2022:


Over 5000 letters are sent asking the Science Museum to listen to Indigenous people and drop Adani.

December 2021:


  • Former UK Chief Scientist Sir David King criticises the Science Museum for fossil fuel sponsorship in the Guardian.

  • A large group of leading scientists and former contributors to the Science Museum call the museum’s response to them ‘disappointing and patronising’ and call on it to engage with its critics in a ‘genuine and meaningful way’.

  • Representatives of Indigenous communities impacted by Adani’s coal operations in India, Indonesia and Australia call on the Science Museum to listen to their concerns and drop its sponsorship deal, reports the Guardian.

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November 2021:

  • Over seventy Extinction Rebellion protestors stage a live art protest at the Lates event inside the Science Museum.

  • Anna Phoebe and Space Rocks cancel their event at the Science Museum because of the Museum’s relationship with fossil fuel companies. Read more here.

  • Channel 4 News reveal that the Science Museum’s contract with Adani Green Energy also includes a “gagging clause”, based on an in-depth investigation by Culture Unstained which revealed that the museum also nearly signed a sponsorship deal with 12 of the world’s biggest oil firms. Read more here.

  • 60 leading scientists and museum contributors commit ‘not to work with’ the Science Museum Group until it announces a moratorium on accepting fossil fuel funding, reports the Guardian.

  • Drs Steve and Dee Allen refuse to allow their work to be included in the Science Museum’s collection because of the institution’s links to Shell, the Guardian reports

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October 2021:


  • Two young people are barred from entering the museum less than a day after the Chair of Trustees promised to 'engage...with those who disagree with our position'

  • Former Trustee, Dr Sarah Dry reveals that she had opposed the museum’s decision to accept sponsorship from Adani.

  • The Wangan and Jagalingou cultural custodians, traditional owners of the land where Adani is building a giant coal mine in Australia, speak out against the Adani sponsorship and museum Director Ian Blatchford’s dismissal of their concerns on BBC Radio 4 

  • BBC Front Row: Director Ian Blatchford is challenged over the sponsorship deal with Adani.

  • UK Student Climate Network London organise a vigil and overnight occupation of the Science Museum to remember the victims of fossil fuel companies. 

  • On the day the Science Museum welcomes top investors in innovation for a Global Investment Summit, the museum and Adani announce their new sponsorship deal, provoking widespread negative media coverage - see the FT, Guardian, Independent and Sky for example. Extinction Rebellion’s protest highlights that the Science Museum is ‘doubling down’ on its ‘reckless’ choices of funder 

  • Former Science Museum director, Prof Chris Rapley CBE resigns from the Science Museum’s Advisory Board over the issue of fossil fuel sponsorship.

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September 2021:

Young climate campaigners from UK Student Climate Network London request formally that their placards the Science Museum has on display be removed - and they are.

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August 2021:

The museum is the target of Extinction Rebellion protests over the Shell sponsorship, with Scientists for XR leading a 70-strong overnight occupation of the museum, reports the Telegraph.

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July 2021:

June 2021:

Young activists are threatened with arrest after staging an after-hours occupation of the Science Museum in protest over fossil fuel sponsorship, reports the Guardian.

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May - December 2021:

  • Local residents led by Extinction Rebellion Hammersmith & Fulham maintain a weekly presence outside the Science Museum, giving flyers and stickers to the museum’s visitors and staging numerous theatrical performances over that period. 

May 2021:

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April 2021:

  • Young people (UK Student Climate Network London) write a letter calling on the Science Museum to drop Shell, supported by more than 200 organisations and scientists. It’s covered by the Guardian.

  • More than 8,000 people pledge to boycott the exhibition “Our future planet”.

  • More than 50,000 people sign a petition asking the Science Museum to drop Shell as a sponsor.

  • Scientist, Dr Emma Sayer, tells the Museums Association Journal she regrets working on the Science Museum’s exhibition now she knows it’s sponsored by Shell.

  • Scientists speak out against the announcement of Shell sponsorship of the new exhibition “Our future planet”.

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