British museum refuses call to end scientific research cooperation with Ahava

One of the UK’s most popular science museums has refused to succumb to a call by anti-Israel activists to sever its working relationship with Israeli cosmetics company Ahava. On 17 January, a group of anti-Israel artists and academics condemned the Natural History Museum in West London for its research collaboration with Ahava/Dead Sea Laboratories. On 19 January, 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 added.

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