Natural History Museum (UK): Natural History Museum allocated £180 million in Budget to create state-of-the art research centre at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

Natural History Museum (UK): Natural History Museum allocated £180 million in Budget to create state-of-the art research centre at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. “The collection of 80 million specimens, spanning 4.5 billion years from the formation of the solar system to the present day, is globally unique and scientifically invaluable. It plays a key role in the UK’s international reputation as a scientific leader. The development of new world-class accommodation will allow the Museum to move collections currently at risk of deterioration and irreparable damage from being housed in functionally and physically obsolete 20th century buildings to facilities which meet international collection standards.”

EurekAlert: A new use for museum fish specimens

EurekAlert: A new use for museum fish specimens. “The discoloured fish that rest in glass jars in museums across the world are normally used by specialists as references to study the traits that identify certain species. But a new study proposes an additional use for such ‘samples.’ Published in the Journal of Applied Ichthyology, the paper suggests using such specimens to estimate the length-weight relationships of fish that are hard to find alive in their natural environment.”

Atlas Obscura: See 500 Years of Artful Nature Illustrations

Atlas Obscura: See 500 Years of Artful Nature Illustrations. “Now, the collaborative Biodiversity Heritage Library—a digital archive compiled by a consortium of natural-history libraries—has released over 150,000 artworks of the natural world, allowing public access to one of the largest illustrated compendiums of life on Earth. Years before wildlife photographers began to catalogue the world’s egrets, cephalopods, and rafflesia corpse flowers, artists like Elizabeth Gould were portraying species with illustrations, often reprinted as lithographs for the public.”

New Indian Express: Natural history museum library to go online; rare collections to be digitised

New Indian Express: Natural history museum library to go online; rare collections to be digitised. “The library functions under the Department of Museums and Zoos. It has a collection of about 7,000 books, out of which 500 books fall under the rare collection category. Most of the flora and fauna inside the museum premises have been documented along with lesser-known assets. All the artefacts in the museum including ancient coins and original paintings by Raja Ravi Varma are being photographed to form an online database of the museum’s riches and heritage”

Quartz: Historians are starting to explore the dark side of science

Quartz: Historians are starting to explore the dark side of science. ” Increasingly, scientific historians are coming to terms with the fact that science thrived in part because of the transatlantic slave trade of the 1500s to 1800s, which enabled naturalists to discover and ship new flora and fauna specimens around the world. To this day, museums contain these specimens that excited and inspired early scientists but were obtained only thanks to an inhumane business.”

Species Sleuths: Amateur Naturalists Spark a New Wave of Discovery (Yale Environment 360)

Yale Environment 360: Species Sleuths: Amateur Naturalists Spark a New Wave of Discovery. “Through close study of niche areas, some of these so-called amateurs amass decades of expertise rivaling or exceeding that of traditional taxonomic experts. Others are more typical collectors who dabble in discovery, with the help of online information and collaboration. Either way, in a poorly-funded academic field in the throes of a long-recognized workforce crisis, career scientists are increasingly welcoming to these enthusiastic volunteers.”