Following the announcement of the UK Science Museum Group signed a sponsorship deal with Adani, a fossil fuel company, two directors resigned from the group’s board, according to new reports. Protests also erupted against the announcement of the sponsorship deal. The UK Science Museum Group includes five different museums: The Science Museum in South Kensington, London, The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, The National Railway Museum in York, Locomotion in County Durham and The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. Concretely, Adani is supposed to sponsor a new gallery which will open its doors in 2023 called Energy Revolution: the Adani Green Energy Gallery. The two trustees stepping down are Jo Foster, director of the British Charity Institute for School Research and Hannah Fry, professor of city mathematics at University College London.
“I share the concerns of many energy companies that present themselves as in transition, while spending considerable sums to create new mines and find new oil fields,” he added. Fry said in a statement. “I worry about how easily we are distracted by investments in renewables and carbon storage, not realizing that, given the increase in global energy demand, this means nothing less that does not cause a marked reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels. “
In 2019, the Royal Shakespeare Company severed ties with British multinational oil and gas company BP after students threatened to boycott the premises, and the National Galleries of Scotland announced they would also end their relationship with BP. So it is clear that there is a precedent in the UK for large institutions divesting themselves from large fossil fuel organizations. What is less certain, however, is which ones will measure up.
Historian Sarah Dry has also retired from the UK Science Museum Group in March. “When I was still a director of the Science Museum, I objected to taking Adani’s Â£ for a new energy gallery”, dry tweeted. âI was not listened to. Now that the announcement is public, many more are doing the same. ”