Kirk Johnson, the Sant Director of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and formerly first curator of the Wesleyan museum, will be speaking on “Natural History in the Age of Humans” in Shanklin 107 on March 1st from 7:30-8:30pm, followed by a catered reception at Woodhead Lounge (Exley 184).
“Natural history museums represent a fundamental tool to understand and preserve Earth’s natural and cultural heritage. The public perception of museums as educational experiences masks their deeper value to human society as the creators and keepers of our knowledge of the natural and cultural world. With a rapidly growing world population, food insecurity, infectious diseases, and invasive species are problems that may find their solution in the genomics of biodiversity housed in museum collections. Minerals, meteorites, and fossils are the physical evidence of the planet’s history, climate, biological evolution, and resource base. In an increasingly digital era, museums are one of the last bastions of the real thing. “