Thursday, February 25, 2016

GRSciColl: Connecting to Collections

SciColl is currently hosting a workshop on the Global Registry of Scientific Collections (GRSciColl). This online database holds information on institutions and their wide array of  scientific collections, from mammals to meteors, and everything in between. We have gathered experts on collections and databases to discuss how to improve the registry for the needs of the community.

We are part of a larger conversation on the accessibility and relevance of long-forgotten specimens hidden in museums or in the corners of laboratories. Databases and networks in the field of anthropology are different from the biomedical sciences; the community of agricultural scientists is different from that of earth scientists. In one room, we hope to cross boundaries on how researchers and curators connect to collections, as well as the wider world.

Here are a few recent contributions to this conversation in the media:

  • Natural history collections represent our planet’s biodiversity today, as well as from a century ago. Some new species will only ever be found in the halls of these institutions as they are lost to nature: “Natural History Museums Are Teeming With Undiscovered Species,” The Atlantic (08 February 2016) 

  • Museums are often at the front of communicating science. Recent studies - from asteroid research to the water crisis in Michigan - show that this conversation should go both ways: “Scientists Should Talk To The Public, But Also Listen,” Scientific American (05 February 2016) 


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