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.

White Paper: Envisioning a Natural History Collections Action Center

In 2020, an ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released its report, Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Recommendation 8-1 of the report called for the establishment of a national Action Center for Biological Collections, which was codified into law by the U.S. Congress as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. In 2023, a series of webinars and national workshops brought together around 300 biological collections curators, collections managers, museum leaders, research and early career professionals, Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts, and related stakeholders to envision the features and functions of such an action center. The series was co-sponsored by iDigBio, NSC Alliance, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, American Institute of Biological Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, New York Botanical Garden, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Field Museum.

Recommendations from these workshops are now available in a newly released white paper, Envisioning a Natural History Collections Action Center The recommendations underscore and strengthen the essential role that biological samples and repositories play in medical science, human health, food security, pathogen-borne disease, biosecurity, a strong bioeconomy, mitigating deleterious effects of climate change, and conserving ecological services for human use and subsistence. 

Workshop organizers are now inviting individuals to register your support for the findings presented in the white paper.  Although this is a U.S. report, collections professionals from around the world are invited to show their support. The results of this survey as well as the white paper will be shared with the U.S. National Science Foundation.

White Paper: Envisioning a Natural History Collections Action Center
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