Natural Science Collections Alliance

Our members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.

NSCA Board Members Pen Viewpoint on the Duke Herbarium Decision

Several members of the Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSCA) Board of Directors, led by Barbara Thiers, Director Emerita at the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium of The New York Botanical Garden, have authored a Viewpoint article for BioScience calling for “continued enhancement, not dissolution” of the Duke Herbarium.

The article reads, in part: “We urge Duke to reconsider its plans to close its herbarium and disperse its collections. As a leader in biodiversity sciences, Duke should do this for its own benefit and to prevent burdening other institutions and the public with the cost of moving and curating Duke’s collections. To ensure a transparent decision-making process, Duke should convene a group of internal and external experts and potential funders to discuss the future of the collections, including potential partnerships with other regional entities. The goal should be to create a plan for the herbarium that will ensure its continuing contribution to preserving biodiversity and functioning ecosystems.”

NSCA previously sent a letter to Duke University leadership urging them to reconsider their decision to dismantle the herbarium.

NSCA Board Members Pen Viewpoint on the Duke Herbarium Decision
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