The Science Museum wants their plastic samples. they refused


After Gondogo learned of the museum’s contract with Shell, he began to reconsider his decision. On November 5, he emailed the curator to tell him that – due to the Museum’s affiliations with Shell – he was no longer providing samples to the collection. “I am trying to raise awareness of climate change and its impact and how to help people fight this problem,” says Gündoğdu. He says sending his samples to the Science Museum goes against that message.

But museum officials say Shell’s sponsorship has no bearing on how it collects or displays the artifacts. A spokesperson for the Science Museum collection says: “We totally reject the false claim that the curators are in any way prohibited from fulfilling their vital role in an expert, independent and inclusive manner.” The spokesperson adds that the Museum retains complete editorial control over the content of its exhibitions and galleries and will not agree to any relationship that limits its pursuit of its mission of collecting materials or producing exhibitions.

Curators often discuss current research with scientists to help determine which items are appropriate for acquisition. “This is just the beginning of a lengthy process that includes extensive internal discussions and research before the formal acquisition takes place,” says Tilley Blyth, Head of Collections and Principal Curator for the Science Museum. “We respect the right of any individual to decide whether they want to cooperate with us by donating items to the National Collection.”

Shell also denied that its sponsorship of the climate change exhibition undermines the independence of the science museum. “We fully respect the museum’s autonomy. This is why his exhibit on carbon sequestration is important and why we have supported it. Discussion and discussion – among anyone who sees this – is essential,” says a Shell spokesperson. In 2020, Shell’s reported greenhouse gas emissions added up to 1.38 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – more than four times the annual emissions of the entire UK According to environmental charity Client Earth, Shell’s planned emissions between 2018 and 2030 alone will make up roughly 1.6 per cent of the carbon budget The entire world, which is the amount of carbon that can be released into the atmosphere while keeping global warming below 1.5°C.

The Science Museum has been embroiled in a series of controversies over Shell’s sponsorship of the Our Future Planet exhibition, which will run through September 2022. The exhibition focuses on technologies – including carbon capture and tree planting – that can be used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but the sponsorship has drawn criticism. severely due to Shell’s alleged significant contribution to the climate crisis. Extracting and burning fossil fuels is the most important contributor to global warming.

In September, the Science Museum said it would remove from the exhibition a banner created by a student protesting climate in March 2019. The banner was collected after a rally in London in which an estimated 10,000 young people gathered to protest government inaction on climate. they change. The decision to remove the banner was made in response to an open letter from the Student Climate Network UK, which requested that the banner be removed, because the young people who donated it were unaware of Shell’s sponsorship.



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