Monday, November 16, 2015

Science Museums Cutting Financial Ties to Fossil Fuel Industry

Chicago’s Field Museum joins several others in divesting its industry holdings, and the London Science Museum drops Shell sponsorship.

The California Academy of Sciences said it has been moving away from fossil fuel investments since 2014. (Credit: California Academy of Sciences) Click to Enlarge
A handful of science and natural history museums across the globe announced in recent weeks they are cutting ties with the fossil fuel industry, limiting their sponsorship and donations and culling oil and gas stocks from their investment portfolios.

The Field Museum in Chicago—one of the largest natural history museums in the world—quietly announced Friday it has divested its financial portfolio from fossil fuels.  The Australian Academy of Sciences said it finished divesting in late October.  The California Academy of Sciences and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh have both divested and instituted new gifts policies that prohibit them from accepting money from oil and gas interests.  London's Science Museum said last week it would not renew a sponsorship deal with Royal Dutch Shell.

Earlier this year, a group of climate scientists sent a letter to museum directors arguing such financial ties with fossil fuels could "undermine public confidence in the validity of these institutions."  There was a more recent public reaction when The Guardian reported that Shell was sponsoring the London museum's climate change exhibit, and attempting to influence its contents.

Read more at Science Museums Cutting Financial Ties to Fossil Fuel Industry

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