NatSCA Digital Digest

Ceratarges spinosus trilobite from Morocco (Obtained from

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at



  1. One Day Conference: Curator of the Future

13th April 2015; British Museum


The conference will focus on three key themes:

  1. The Curatorial Survival Kit- what should be in the ‘curatorial survival kit’ to survive and thrive in the changing professional landscape?
  2. A Brave New World- what are the impacts and opportunities for curatorial practice?
  3. The Next Generation- how can we help support the current and future curatorial work force?

For further information please contact Katy Swift at


  1. Call for proposals: ‘Innovation’: The Emperor’s New Clothes?

Conference to be held on 14th May 2015 at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge.


Why are some projects described as ‘innovative’ while others aren’t? Have you ever been aware of pressure – from funders, from senior management, or from elsewhere – to come up with an innovative project?

Association with the innovation ‘label’ can be great in the short term for getting funding, but there is no point in ‘innovation for the sake of it’.

When you look back at all the projects described as innovative, the reality is that only some of them have brought lasting value. What does innovation mean for museums? Does it go beyond new technologies to include new ways of organising our work or interacting with audiences? How do we assess which innovations are useful and which are distractions? Do you have any examples where the term innovation has proved positive in the short term and/or in the long term? Does innovation have to be revolutionary, or can it be evolutionary? Are you aware of any innovative ways of evaluating digital projects, or evaluating projects in general, using digital technologies or methodologies?

We are seeking proposals from people willing to share their successes and failures in projects that have or could be described as innovative. However we also welcome sessions focused on debunking the ‘cult’ of innovation or addressing the questions above.

Fill in this form to submit a proposal here or contact Jessica Suess for further information


  1. Conference: Refloating the Ark- Connecting the Public and Scientists with Natural History Specimens

17th and 18th June 2015, 9-5pm; Manchester Museum


A two­‐day meeting exploring how natural history museums can contribute towards environmental sustainability, by engaging effectively with the public and the scientific research community.

For further information contact David Gelsthorpe or visit the Manchester Museum website.


Compiled by Emma-Louise Nicholls, NatSCA Blog Editor

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