Scientists take part in an environmental protest in museum

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ACTIVIST scientists took part in a demonstration this morning in the Science Museum to protest against a Shell sponsored exhibition.

Extinction Rebellion scientists locked themselves to a mechanical tree in the Science Museum to protest against the Shell sponsored ‘Our Future Planet’ exhibition.

The group used bicycle cables and D-locks to lock themselves inside the exhibit on the opening day, ensuring they did not damage the exhibit.

The protestors showed their anger at the decision by the Science Museum Group to accept shell sponsorships, claiming that it legitimises the detrimental actions of Shell on the planet.

Scientists from Extinction Rebellion protest against Shell funding - UK news
Photo by Jaron Nix on Unsplash
Scientists take part in a demonstration in science museum.

Dr Caroline Vincent, 58, pharmaceutical industry who took part in the protest, said: “When I realised the extent of the crises we had created, I felt that I had no choice but to give up the job I loved, to dedicate myself to raising the alarm.

“I never imagined that I would have to lock myself to a railing at the Science Museum. But I have no choice.”

She added: “Shell’s so-called commitment to be part of the solution is just rhetoric and greenwashing.

“This sponsorship is smoke and mirrors to allow them to carry on exploring for oil and gas. Shell is using the Science Museum to legitimise their crime.”

Other scientists for Extinction Rebellion held a different exhibit outside the museum explaining to visitors why the protest was happening.

The protest comes only a day after the International Energy Agency announced that for the world to reach net-zero and be in line with the Paris Climate Agreement’s temperature limit of 1.5 degrees, there should be no more exploration for new oil or gas after the end of this year.

Dr Valeria Scagliotti, 33, Biologist, who also protested said: “My research focuses on improving the outcome of a pregnancy condition so that newborns could live a better life.

“But what’s the point in helping these babies before they’re born, if at the same time we don’t fight to ensure that they’ll have a planet to thrive on?

“That’s why I’ve decided to take action today. I cannot watch the world falling apart any longer.”

Scientists throughout the UK, including a few involved in creating the exhibition, have expressed anger at Shell’s sponsorship.

A Shell spokesperson told Deadline News: “Shell and the Science Museum have a longstanding relationship, based on a shared interest in promoting engagement in science – which will be a key enabler in addressing the challenge to provide more and cleaner energy solutions. 

“At Shell our target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society.
“As Shell works with our customers to identify the best paths to decarbonisation, we seek to avoid, reduce and only then mitigate any remaining emissions. Developing carbon capture and storage and using natural sinks are two of a range of ways of decarbonizing energy.”
A spokesperson for the Science Museum Group told Deadline News: “We received a peaceful protest from Extinction Rebellion today.
“The peaceful protest took place without incident and was supervised by museum staff to ensure visitors continued to have safe access to the inspiration of our museum and to the vaccination centre.”