NatSCA Digital Digest – August

Compiled by Glenn Roadley, Curator (Natural Science), The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

Welcome to the August edition of NatSCA Digital Digest!

What Should I Read?

We’ve got three great NatSCA blogs to read this month. Donna Young, Herbarium Curator at World Museum, Liverpool, writes of her quest to map and document botanical models manufactured by the Brendel Company of Berlin, now found in collections across the world. Be sure to fill in the survey if you have any in your institution.

A blog by Jack Ashby, Manager of the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, tells us about the aims and processes behind a new art exhibition at the museum, ‘Evolution as Inspiration’.

Christine Taylor, Curator of Natural History, Portsmouth Museums, writes about the HLF (or NHLF) funded project to share and raise the profile of the city’s natural history collections, ‘Wild about Portsmouth’.

The Museums Association has published articles covering a range of political issues affecting the sector. Nicky Morgan has become the latest Culture Secretary through the rotating door of cabinet members, and further cuts to local authorities have put museums in Bradford under threat of redundancies and closure. The sector-wide discussions surrounding the decolonisation of collections, human rights and corporate sponsorship continue as Ahdaf Soueif resigns from the British Museum’s board of trustees, citing the museums lack of a ‘clear ethical position’ on such issues.

Prefer to curl up with a good book? Here’s a selection recently released (though unreviewed by NatSCA besides a quick scan of the product description, so make your own judgement!):

How to Make a Plant Love You – Summer Rayne Oakes – appears to be half houseplant-keeping guide, half self-help manual for city hipsters. The book title and the author’s name may be enough to keep some away from this one, but if it succeeds in promoting a love of botany, then that can only be a good thing.

The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator – Timothy C. Winegard – This dramatic narrative tells of the impact of mosquitoes on human civilisations, a good one for 2019, Year of the Fly.

The Darwin Strain – Bill Schutt and J.R. Finch – Fancy a break from non-fiction? How about an action adventure featuring a zoologist protagonist, mutation-causing microbes, sea monsters and an impending apocalypse? Yeah, why not.

Where Should I Go?

Many museums are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing this year. The Moon at the National Maritime Museum opened in July and runs until next January,

An exhibition at House of Illustration, London, highlights the work of Marie Neurath and her involvement in the production of a range of science education books published between 1940 and 1970 in a new exhibition ‘Picturing Science’.

Where Should I Work?

Not a lot out there with Natural Science Collections at the moment – the Royal College of Surgeons of England is recruiting a Museum Technician. If you know of a job vacancy you’d like advertised on the NatSCA website, send details to

Before You Go…

If you have visited an exhibition/museum, have something to say about a current topic, or perhaps you want to tell us what you’ve been working on, please drop Jen an email at Thanks!

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