November PubSci: Museums and Science

Why museum collections are vital to life on Earth

On Tuesday 20th November we will have museum curator and regular PubSci host Paolo Viscardi talking about museum collections and their value to science, society and species survival.

We’ll find out about how museums provide a reference resource for recognising, organising and recording species so that we know what life is out there.

This will touch on the sometimes strange sense of humour taxonomists display when naming species (for example, the parasitic wasp called Heerz lukenatcha or the snail called Ba humbugi) and we will explore the reason why apes can now be called monkeys and why whales might be justifiably considered to be fish.

We will also look at collections as baseline data for understanding changes in climate, population dynamics and the environmental impact of human activities – an essential role in the scientific research that informs conservation, environmental policy and the law.

Join us for this peek at the science going on behind the scenes in museums at the Brixton Ritzy Upstairs Bar. Talk starts at 8pm, but arrive earlier if you fancy food, drinks and socialising with science geeks.

As usual, the event is free!

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5 responses to “November PubSci: Museums and Science

  1. It’s so soon! I may throw some questions at you re: ethics of specimen procurement if that’s alright.

    • No problem – ethics are a big issue for museums. Historically collecting has caused exactly the kind of problems that collections are now being used to solve – it’s an interesting quandary when considering modern collecting methods and ethos and the implications for the future.

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  3. bummer, got a long day and I live in Medway and got a long day of teaching on the Wednesday … Still, might turn up anyway – be nice to meet more geeks!!

  4. Pingback: Week In Geek: 19-25 November 2012 | Londonist

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