Our Top Ten Blogs of 2019

Written by Jennifer Gallichan, Curator of Molluscs & Vertebrates at National Museum Cardiff.

2019 was an interesting year for me as I took on the role of NatSCA blog editor. It has been a great year and I have very much enjoyed reading all of the articles from our amazing contributors. To celebrate this, I wanted to bring together a list of our top ten most viewed blogs from 2019 in case you missed any of them.

Top scorers this year include a surprising number of botanical articles, with four of the ten written by our plant loving colleagues.

Strawberry fruits made from dressmaking beads coated in molten wax and attached to waxed wire stems. © Annette Townsend

Some of my personal favourites, although not top scorers, are actually two articles which we were kindly allowed to re-blog: Annette Townsend’s beautiful and mesmerising work in how to make a wild strawberry sculpture from honey bee wax, and John Wilson’s fantastic article about the orang-utan specimens sent to World Museum, Liverpool by Alfred Russell Wallace.

But, here are the top ten most read NatSCA blogs by your good selves…


First up, Jan Freedman’s plea for us all to turn our frown upside down to help speakers at conferences, The beauty of a smile.


Isla Gladstone’s fantastic article on Global Biodiversity Collections: Becoming Part of the Open Data Community.


Jack Ashby talked about his work with artist Jonathan Kingdon, in The Dead and the Living: Natural History’s Two Key Pillars in New Art Exhibition.


Always a firm favourite, Paolo Viscardi talked about his work with Blaschka models at The Dead Zoo in Invertebrates In Vitro.


At number six comes the first of the popular herbaria blogs. Ranee Prakash talks about a Survey of Flowering Plants Stored in Fluid Preservatives Across European Herbaria.


Hannah Clarke talks about her experiences Caring for Natural Science Collections – My First NatSCA Conference in 2018.


Unsurprisingly, Clare Brown’s Brexit and the Customs Union: The Practical Impact on Museums post scored highly, reflecting the dominance of this news story in the press and on-going level of uncertainty in the wider world as folks try to prepare for the unknown.


The inspiringly titled My Work Is What Will Survive, talks the work of pioneering plant cytologists, E. K. Janaki Ammal.


Imogen Crarer’s blog shows us Five Lessons for Life from Working on the Horniman’s Historical Herbarium.


The top spot goes to Donna Young’s Brendel Plant Model Survey, a project to map and document collections of Brendel botanical models worldwide.

However, if you are wondering which is the top blog of all time…the prize goes to Jack Ashby’s brilliantly titled When Museums Get it Wrong – Did We Accidentally Accession Someone’s Holiday Booze?

Many thanks to all the contributors that have helped to make 2019 such an interesting read. I am looking forward to receiving more of your stories in 2020!

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 an email to blog@natsca.org.

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