Powered by WebAds

Sunday, January 22, 2012

London Museum of Natural History tells BDS'ers to buzz off

On Wednesday, I reported that the London Museum of Natural History is under pressure to boycott a research project that includes Israel's Ahava Cosmetics company. If any of you are visiting London in the near future, you should go to the museum and thank them for having the courage to stand up to the BDS movement. In fact, you might want to give each museum employee an Ahava cosmetic product. The Museum has told the BDS'ers to buzz off.
On Thursday, Prof. Ian Owens, the museum’s director of science, said that the museum will not heed to any boycott calls and that it is dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge. Academic freedom is an important principle in pursuing this goal, he said.

“In this respect we are in broad alignment with the wider UK academic community. We work within the legal and policy boundaries established by politicians and policy makers, and would not participate in any academic or educational boycotts that could restrict academic freedom,” he said.


The museum’s project involves 11 partners, including Imperial College London and King’s College, and goes through a European Union funded project called NanoRetox.

It is a four year collaboration with a budget of 300,000 euros. However the collaboration began in 2008 and will be completed at the end of 2012.

The Museum is lead partner in the project, which is working to identify the potential risks posed by engineered nanomaterial to the environment and human health.

Owens said that this is an area of scientific interest because, although nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of modern life, there are concerns about its potential for harming humans and the environment.

“To carry out this work we have assembled a team of experts from across the EU and the US whose combined expertise can address the toxicity of nanoparticles in a systematic way,” Owens said.

The director of science said that Ahava/Dead Sea Laboratories have proven to be an expert in this area and approved as a partner by the European Commission.

“When our research leaders were putting together the NanoReTox project they were missing expertise in specific nanoparticle techniques and analysis. Ahava DSL, who are based in Israel and have activities in the Occupied Territories, were found to offer this expertise through the EC research partner-finding scheme.

“As with our other collaborators on this project, the EC approved Ahava DSL as a partner when the contract was issued to the Natural History Museum. NanoRetox is funded by the EC within the Seventh Framework Program (FP7),” he said.

Owens said that two other UK-based organizations are also involved with Ahava DSL in two other FP7 projects.
Good for them!

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home