Letter to Science Museum Trustees | August 2023

Dear Science Museum Trustees

We are writing, as a group of health professionals, to express our deep concern about the Science Museum’s partnerships with fossil fuel companies, BP, Equinor and Adani [1]. We request that you end your association with these sponsors, who are using the Science Museum to clean up their public image, and hide the fact that their activities demonstrably cause climatic events which lead to the deaths of millions of people, despite their attempts to suggest otherwise[2].

The health effects of global heating, as you may know, include; the direct effects of extreme heat, flooding and drought; mental health effects including increased depression, anxiety and stress related problems[3]; an increased likelihood of pandemics; the spread of mosquito-borne diseases; the stark physical effects of crop failure and famine; and the indirect effects of people fleeing their failing lands – escalating social tensions, protectionism and war[2][4]. So concerned are health professionals about these effects that in 2021 an unprecedented joint editorial between 200 health journals (including three of the most esteemed journals in the world – the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet and British Medical Journal) stated ‘The science is unequivocal: a global increase of 1.5° C above the pre-industrial average and the continued loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse’[5]

Your sponsors have, for decades, been complicit in driving the climate crisis whilst knowingly downplaying the risks[6], and they continue to this day. Recently BP announced that it is scaling back its renewables and increasing spending on oil and gas[7], while Equinor’s imminent Rosebank operation will, on its own, cause the UK to exceed its carbon budget[8]. Yet in the face of widespread criticism of these and previous sponsors, you have now chosen to accept sponsorship from the Adani group, who, it is suggested, are the largest private developer of new coal mines in the world [9], despite it being widely acknowledged that new coal mines are not needed to fuel the world’s energy needs [10]. Adani have also been accused of contaminating crops and rivers and violating the human rights of indigenous people. They have recently been dropped by the Science-Based Targets Initiative and both Norway and Denmark’s largest pension funds (KLP and PFA) [11] for muddying their green energy business with their far larger coal business.

With the utmost respect for the majority of your work, we believe that if, as we hope, you are to play a leading future role in informing the public about the climate and ecological emergencies in an unbiased and objective way, it is vital that your sponsorship by fossil fuel companies ceases. Though Science Museum CEO Mr Blatchford claims that these sponsorships allow the museum to engage and challenge these giant companies, and presumably through this affect their business decisions, we do not believe that this benefit outweighs the significant harms already mentioned.

We are asking you to end these damaging associations, as the British Museum, the Tate and others have done[12]. In the meantime we have another request: that you commission large and informative displays at or close to the entrance of the new Energy Revolution: The Adani Green Energy Gallery, and the Equinor Wonderlab informing the public of your sponsors’ roles in developing new fossil fuels. This should be directly and visibly contrasted with the expert opinion of the world’s foremost independent body which advises on energy – the International Energy Agency. Given your assertions that the Science Museum has full curatorial independence (13), we are confident this should be feasible for you to do. And if these three sponsors are not trying to misinform the public, they should have no problem with this information being displayed. The IEA’s landmark report  ‘Net Zero by 2050’ was released in 2021, and it advised that we need:

“From today, no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants.”

We are hopeful and look forward to your positive response

Kind Regards 

The Healthcare Professionals of HealthforXR, including:

Professor Hilary Neve MBChB, MRCGP, MEd – GP
Dr. Lynne Jones OBE FRCPsych PhD – Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist 
Dr Katharine Fallon MBChB, MRCGP, MSc Primary Care – retired GP
Dr Stuart Drysdale MBChB, MRCGP- retired GP
Dr Alice Clack MBChB MRCOG consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Dr Neil Stevenson MB,BS, MSc, D Phil – retired GP
Nathalie Gillion – neuro-physiotherapist
Dr Elia Valentini PhD – psychologist and university lecturer
Dr Liam Embliss BM BS, MRCPsych – Psychiatry specialty doctor
Charlotte Francis BSc (Hons) Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner Pelvic Health
Dr Kristine Damberg MBBS – Anaesthetist and Senior Simulation Practitioner
Dr Premkumar Jeyapaul MBBS MRCPSYCH Psychiatrist
Dr Philippa Matthews MBBS MRCGP GP
Mary Trevelyan- RN 
Karen Rock RMN  Mental Health Nurse
Dr Daniel Fitzgerald BM BCh, BSc (Hons), PhD – GP Registrar
Dr Kirsten Shukla MD MRCPsych – Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Professor Clare Turnbull PhD FRCP, FRCPath, FFPH- Professor of Cancer Genetics & Hon Consultant in Clinical Genetics
Kathy Pelc RN, SCPHN Health Visitor 
Dr Juliette Brown, BA, MA, MBBS, MRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action 
Dr Valerie Temple Davies  MBChB –  Retired GP 
Dr Christelle Blunden MRCGP DFSRH DRCOG DGM – GP
Dr Naomi Adelson, GP, MBChB MRCGP
Jenni Crisp Speech & Language Therapist MRCSLT, BSC (Hons) MPhil
Dr Amy Greengrass BM FRCA, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead for Sustainability 
Dr Anna Jones, FFPH, MPH, Public health doctor and lead for Sustainable healthcare education
Dr Patrick Hart, GP, MBChB MRCGP
Dr Daniel Roberts, EM registrar, FRCEM
Dr Ellen Tullo, MBBS, MA, PhD, Geriatrician 
Dr Michael Fallon MbChB, BAO MRCGP, GP
Dr Grace Thompson Bsc Hons MbChb hons RCGP
Stephanie Foster, Nutrition Clinical Nurse Specialist
Dr Christianne Guillotte, BA, MSc, MBBS, GP Registrar
Dr Chris Newman, MBChB(Hons), MRCGP, GP
Dr Karine Nohr MB, ChB, MRCOG, MRCGP, retired GP
Dr Hayley Pinto MB BS, BSc psychology, MRCPsych Consultant psychiatrist and Education and Training lead for the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare 
Dr Sarah Birkby BSc PhD BMBS MRCP Consultant Cardiologist 
Dr Susan Lyons MBChB  Retired GP
Dr Kush Naker MBBS, MSc,  MRCP. Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Registrar
Dr Karishma Gokani MBBS BSc MRCP, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Registrar 
Dr Asmamaw Sisay Yigeremu MD MAHA MSc, Family Practitioner
Dr Pamela Peters, MBChB, MRCPsych – Consultant psychiatrist in Medical psychotherapy
Dr Sarah Wookey MB BCh MRCP MRCPCH MRCGP FAWM General Practitioner and Expedition Medical Officer
Dr Alan Kellas MBBS BA MRCPSych Retired Consultant Psychiatrist 
Mary Light SRN SCM Retired nurse
Dr Diana Jellinek, MBBS MSc FRCPCH. Retired consultant paediatrician 
Steve Burrow BSc Senior Occupational Therapist.
Dr Miranda Splitt, MBBS MD FRCP Retired Consultant Clinical Geneticist 
Dr Angela Wilson, GP,  MB BS hons MA MRCGP DTMH
Dr Sadru Kheraj MA MBBS FRCGP GP
Dr Annabelle Mascott MBBS MRCGP MMEd – GP
Dr Gerard Reissmann MBBS BMedSci MRCGP GP
Dr Philippa Hardy, GPST2, Clinical Fellow in enhanced generalism, NHSE
Dr Lisa Gutteridge MBChB MRCGP – GP
Sarah Conniffe-Jones BSc (Hons) Palliative Care Physiotherapist
Ross Conniffe-Jones BSc (Hons) Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist 
Dr Rory McGill MB BCh Holistic Physician
Dr Gill Turner MBBS BMedSci FRCPCH Consultant Paediatrician
Maggie Fay , BSc(Hons), PG Cert Medical and Healthcare Education, Nurse.
Dr Peter Lillie GP MBChB BSc(Hons) MRCGP 
Dr Thomas Nutting MBBS MA MRCPSYCH Psychiatrist
Professor Deenan Pillay, Emeritus Professor or Virology PhD FRCPath
Karen Herndon, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapist
Steve Fay, Clinical specialist Physiotherapist – Neurology
Sarah Yapp, NHS Social Prescriber BA (Hons) MCThA
Dr Melissa Gardner MBBS MRCGP – GP
Dr Rosie Isaac BM MRCGP – GP
Dr Jethro Purkis MB ChB Specialty Doctor Psychiatry
Dr Emma Radcliffe MBBS BSc MRCGP – GP
Geraldine Vivian – Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist
Dr Charlotte Riley, MBChB, Emergency Medicine Doctor 
Jo Hindley RM, Registered Midwife
Dr William Nash BSc MBBS – F1 Junior Doctor
Dr Jonathan De Oliveira, MBBS BA – F1 Junior Doctor
Dr Jessica Fleminger BM BCh MEng Obstetrics and Gynaecology trainee
Martin Fisher MBACP, MBPsS, MSc, MA Cantab, NCPS Accredited Psychotherapist 
Dr Francesca Heffernan. BA (hon), MA, PGCE, DipPsych, PhD child and educational psychology. HCPC registered. Educational Psychologist. 
Dr Mairi Spanswick DClinPsy, MSc, BA (Hons) Specialist Clinical Psychologist
Dr Mike Tomson BA MBBS, Cert Med Ed FRCGP, GP (clinically retired) Medical Educationalist
Dr Paula Mulvenna Retired Consultant Clinical Oncologist B.Med.Sci; MBBS; MRCP; FRCR
Dr Benedict Smith MA BA BMBCh FRCGP
Ali Rowe, CAMHs RMN
Simon MacLardie Community Nurse, BSc Nursing, BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine 
Adele G Stanton, Occupational therapist
Dr Elanor Lewis-Holmes, BSc, DipClinPsy, Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist
Dr Amelia Cussans, BMBS BMedSc (hons) DTM&H, MRCPsych 
Dr Sara Lightowlers, MB BChir MRCP FRCR, Clinical Research Fellow
Dr Emma Sheppard, MRCGP, MBBS, DRCOG GP Trainer
Dr Emma Carver, MBBCh FRCEM Consultant in Emergency Medicine 
Anna Prince, Speech & Language Therapist RCSLT, MClinRes, MSc (Hons), BSc (Hons)
Dr William Stableforth MB BCH FRCP. consultant gastroenterologist, hepatologist and physician.
Dr Teo Hoon Seong, MB BCH FRCA FFICM, consultant anaesthetist and intensivist 
Dr Joshua Lucas MBBS BSc General Practice Specialty Trainee. 
Kathryn Court, Specialist Occupational Therapist, BBC (Hons)
Charlotte Hardisty, Occupational Therapist
Rachel Naunton, Specialist Children’s Physiotherapist
Dr Mark Hayden, MD FCICM, Paediatric Cardiac Intensivist
Dr Ian Paterson MACantab MBBS consultant anaesthetist (clinically retired) Medical educator
Dr Lauren Davis BA (Hons), BMBCh. Junior doctor and Clinical Sustainability Manager
Dr Cliff Kendall BMBS, junior doctor Internal Medicine 
Dr Dominic Nee, General Practice Trainee
Dr Elpitha Bruce MBBS MRCGP Deep End GP Fellow
Jacqueline Gordon, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist 
Dr Katie Thomson, Senior Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University 
Dr Marty Climenhaga PhD, MSc, Occupational Therapist 
Jessie Frost, BSc (Hons) PGDip, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist
Dr Charles Kind BA (Hons), BMBCh, GP Trainee
Mike Birkby Musculoskeletal physiotherapist 
Dr Peter Simmons MBBS, retired GP
Dr Gordon Lyons MBChB FRCA MD
Ruth White, PG Dip, Public Health Nurse
Dr Veena Aggarwal, BMBCh Oxon, GP Registrar 
Dr Meghan Graham, BA MA(Cantab) DClinPsy, Clinical Psychologist  
Dr Marion Neffgen, MD, PHD, MRCPsych, Medical Psychotherapist 
Dr Beth Matthews BMBS BMedSci MRCP, Registrar in Acute Medicine 
Dr Rachel Cottam MB BCh MRCGP, GP
Dr Sara Leddy Neurology registrar and Clinical Research Fellow UCL
Danielle Winterborne Specialist Speech, Language and Swallow Therapist Msc 
Andrew Phee RMNH.  Mental Health Nurse
Dr Cate Bailey, MBBS MRes MRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist 

2. The 2022 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: health at the mercy of fossil fuels | Lancet Oct 2022
3. The College’s position on sustainability | Royal College of Psychiatrists May 2021
4. How Populism Imperils the Planet | The MIT Press Reader  Nov 2021
5. Call for Emergency Action to Limit Global Temperature Increases, Restore Biodiversity, and Protect Health | NEJM Sep 2021
6. Big Oil v the World | BBC Jul 2022
7. BP scales back climate targets as profits hit record | BBC Feb 2023
8. New oilfield in the North Sea would blow the UK’s carbon budget | Guardian Apr 2023
9. The Adani Group is the largest private developer of coal in the world | Climate Energy Finance Feb 2023 
10. Net Zero by 2050  Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector | International Energy Agency May 2021
11. Adani companies booted from UN CO2 targets initiative | Net Zero Investor  May 2023
12. British Museum Ends 27-Year Sponsorship Deal With BP | Art News Jun 2023
13.SMG under fire for ‘gagging clause’ in Shell deal | Museums Association Jul 2021