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Greta Thunberg condemns Science Museum for allegedly signing ‘gagging clause’ with Shell

TEENAGE climate activist Greta Thunberg has condemned the Science Museum for allegedly signing a “gagging clause” with its sponsor Shell. 

She spoke out after emails released by campaign group Culture Unsustained appeared to show an agreement “not to damage the goodwill and reputation” of the oil giant.

The London museum has come under fire after choosing Shell to sponsor its Our Future Planet exhibition, featuring a solution to the climate crisis, which triggered protests and a sit-in by young activists last month. 

Culture Unsustained described the deal as “highly problematic” because it created a “chilling effect” discouraging museum staff from speak out against Shell’s role in the climate emergency. 

The group’s co-director, Jess Worth, said the decision “puts other staff in a very difficult position and this should be of great concern to the museum sector as a whole.”

Culture Unsustained also accused the museum of having sought sponsorship from a range of other oil and gas firms, including BP, Exxon, Chevron and Saudi Aramco. 

Ms Thunberg, who started the school strike for climate movement, said in a Twitter post that the Science Museum had “just killed irony (and their own reputation).” 

The Science Museum Group has rejected the claims that its curators were influenced by external sources, branding them “unsubstantiated.”

Acting director and chief executive Jonathan Newby said:  “At all times, the Science Museum retains editorial control of the content within our exhibitions and galleries.

“We entirely reject the unsubstantiated claim that our curators were in any way inhibited in carrying out their vital role in an expert, independent and thorough manner.”

A Shell spokesperson said that the oil giant “fully respects” the museum’s independence.

In June, young climate protesters accused the Science Museum of “intimidation” after police allegedly threatened to arrest activists staging an occupation of the site. 


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