On 28th August HXR members, with support from Scientists for XR, came together to expose the Science Museum’s continued sponsorship by fossil fuel companies BP, Equinor and Adani. These companies are driving the climate crisis and, in doing so, causing widespread suffering and millions of deaths.
Inside the museum’s Wellcome medicine gallery, members unfurled a banner beside the huge ‘tattooed man’ and gave a series of talks highlighting the many links between fossil fuels, the climate crisis and their devastating impacts on health. They represent a large group of health professionals who believe that the Science Museum should cut its ties with climate wrecking fossil fuel companies (link).
14/09/23: A subseqent reply from Dame Mary Archer, one of the Trustees can be found here [link]
Video recordings of the talks can be found below.
Outside the museum other health professionals engaged the public in discussions about the climate emergency and encouraged them to vote on a poll as to whether the science museum should drop sponsorship from fossil fuel companies and to add their views and comments.
The climate crisis and health: overview
Dr Kathy Fallon discusses how the “pollution blanket”, caused by burning fossil fuels, is overheating our planet and harming the people and places you love, as well as the health impacts of pollution in the UK.
The fossil fuel and tobacco industries: lies and dishonesty
Dr Lynne Jones discusses how the fossil fuel industry is playing the same game the tobacco companies played: deny, lie and obfuscate about the damage your product is doing even when you’ve known the truth for years. That’s why the science museum should cut all ties
Climate dilemmas and mosquito-borne diseases
Dr Jennie Lord is a disease ecologist. She talks here about how the climate crisis is changing the transmission patterns of mosquito-borne disease and whether to prioritise studying and controlling this symptom or join others, to focus on the root cause of the problem, especially the power of fossil fuel groups. Maybe both is possible.’
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Increasing risk of mosquito-borne diseases in Europe
Malaria in the USA
Climate harms in pregnancy
Dr Alice Clack describes how the climate and ecological crisis has negative impacts on pregnant women and their babies even before birth. These effects are increasing and threaten to undo progress made in maternal and neonatal mortality.
The climate crisis, the global South and refugees
Professor Hilary Neve, a GP, describes her experiences of working in a drought in Africa and with refugees in Europe. She discusses how the climate crisis, driven by fossil fuel companies, is forcing people to flee their homes and the dangers, health risks and traumas faced by refugees
Climate harms and mental health
Dr Lynne Jones explains why the climate crisis is a mental health crisis and why greenhouse gas pollution is bad for your brain
Science Museum Sponsorship and young people
Lucy is an Astrophysics PhD candidate. Her talk discusses how “The Science Museum inspired my younger self to train for over a decade to be a scientist. To have the coal giant Adani as a sponsor, however, is a twisted joke at every young person who walks in this place; funding something designed to excite them about the future and its possibilities, with the money of those who are actively destroying that future”
The climate and food
Dr Hayley Pinto is a consultant psychiatrist and Education lead for the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
She explains how climate change threatens our food supply and risks mass starvation. To avoid this we must switch to a largely plant-based diet now to free up land for nature based solutions.