TV presenter Hannah Fry QUITS as Science Museum trustee over its sponsorship deal with coal giant Adani after climate protests
TV presenter Hannah Fry has stepped down as a trustee at the Science Museum because of its ties to coal giant Adani.
The mathematician, 37, left her role after the museum signed a sponsorship deal with the fossil fuel company in the wake of COP26.
She said she it was ‘with a heavy heart’ she was leaving the role, but she could not continue ‘while the museum is not listening to the very people it was built to inspire’.
Professor Fry’s resignation comes after around 30 members of the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) staged a ‘sleep over’ at museum in protest against the sponsorship.
TV presenter Hannah Fry has stepped down as a trustee at the Science Museum because of its ties to coal giant Adani
The Science Museum last week announced a new gallery, called Energy Revolution: The Adani Green Energy Gallery, which is supported by a subsidiary of the Adani Group
She told The Times: I share the concerns of many that energy companies present themselves as transitioning while spending vast sums on creating new mines and finding new oil fields.
‘By allowing such ties with these companies, I worry that the science museum gives the false impression that scientists believe the efforts of fossil fuel companies are sufficient to avoid disaster.’
The Science Museum last week announced a new gallery, called Energy Revolution: The Adani Green Energy Gallery, which is supported by a subsidiary of the Adani Group.
Adani is a multinational conglomerate involved in coal extraction and coal-fired power stations.
Photographs showed the protesters sleeping at 3.30am around an origami design that read ‘drop shell’ on the floor
Professor Fry said: ‘This is a debate where young people are leading the charge, and I cannot in good conscience remain in post while the museum is not listening to the very people it was built to inspire.’
As a trustee, Professor Fry — who has presented shows including A Day in the Life of Earth — was responsible for the management of the Science Museum group.
UKCSN on Wednesday held a candlelit vigil for the ‘victims of the museum’s fossil fuel sponsors: Shell, BP, Equinor and Adani’ before making origami shells into the early hours.
Photographs showed the protesters sleeping at 3.30am around an origami design that read ‘drop shell’ on the floor.
The demonstrators spoke to the museum’s first visitors of the day this morning to tell them about the establishment’s sponsorship deals with fossil fuel companies
Biologist Dr Alexander Penson, who took part in the sit-in, said it was ‘appalling’ that the museum was persisting in fossil fuel sponsorship and starting a new relationship with Adani.
In an Instagram Live video by UKSCN London from inside the museum, he said: ‘The way that they tell it is that they are working with the green energy arm of the company and they then just forget about the coal.
‘We can all agree that we need new green infrastructure, that we need green jobs… but you can’t just then forget about the dirty infrastructure that we need to retire.’
UK Student Climate Network protest against the Science Museum´s sponsorship deals with fossil fuel companies
The museum has also faced criticism for partnering with Shell to fund its Our Future Planet exhibition about carbon capture and storage and nature-based solutions to the climate crisis.
The agreement with the fossil fuel giant included a gagging clause, meaning the museum cannot say anything that could damage Shell’s reputation.
UKCSN also previously staged demonstrations outside the Science Museum, alongside activists from the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion.