NatSCA Digital Digest – November 2021

Compiled by Glenn Roadley, NatSCA Committee Member, Curator of Natural Science at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

Welcome to the November edition of NatSCA Digital Digest.

A monthly blog series featuring the latest on where to go, what to see and do in the natural history sector including jobs, exhibitions, conferences and training opportunities. We are really keen to hear more about museum re-openings, exhibition launches, virtual conferences and webinars, and new and interesting online content. If you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest please drop an email to

Sector News

SPNHC / BHL / NatSCA Conference 2022

Next summer will see the return of the physical NatSCA Conference – a triple whammy partnership with the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Abstract submission opens November 12th, so keep an eye on the conference site if you’ve got a great idea or project to share with the community.

GCG Virtual Winter Seminar

The Geological Curators Group are delighted to announce that the call for speakers for the Virtual Winter Seminar event is now open. In this unprecedented 18 months, GCG has seen a wonderful increase in engagement from international members, and with this seminar, they would like to celebrate this. GCG are looking for submissions for talks of around 10-15 minutes sharing innovations in, relationships with, and stories from, geological collections around the world. These can be surrounding the topic of Covid and how your organisation coped, or anything else you would like to share!

Please e-mail abstracts to The closing date for submissions is November 5th at 5p.m. BST. The maximum word count should be 250 words plus one image. 

Registration will open shortly with tickets at £5 with the AGM following the seminar and a fun event to end the day. 

More details will land soon at

GCG is seeking new Trustees!

Are you passionate about geological collections, and would like to work towards improving them?

The Geological Curators Group (GCG) was established in the UK in 1974 as a voice and network for everyone who works with geological collections. It is a registered charity (no. 296050) in England and Wales, currently in the process of converting to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). It is run by its members, for its members, on a voluntary basis. GCG welcomes everyone, not just curators: members are also museum and heritage volunteers, collectors, students, academics, educators, and everyone in between.

See the GCG website for more details.

Reimagining Museums for Climate Action

Glasgow Science Centre is hosting ‘Reimagining Museums for Climate Action’, an exhibition co-curated by Rodney Harrison (UCL Institute of Archaeology), Colin Sterling (University of Amsterdam) and Henry McGhie (Curating Tomorrow). So far, the exhibition has been seen by c.60k people.

During COP26, 3,000 tickets will be available each day for members of the public to visit the Glasgow Science Centre. As part of the official Green Zone, the exhibition will also be open to delegates to COP26 itself.

During the time of COP, the Reimagining Museums for Climate Action (RMCA) team encourages anyone who is there to take maximum advantage of the exhibition. They are working with a team of volunteers who will be present each day to help animate and engage audiences with the exhibition, on level 2 of the Glasgow Science Centre. Rodney Harrison and Henry McGhie will be at COP for the full two weeks.

They will present the project at an event in the Blue Zone in the EU pavilion, along with a number of heritage sector organisations. This will take place at 4 pm UK time on the 11th November.

Find out more via the Museums and Climate Change Network website.

CryoArks Release Educational Animation

CryoArks have a produced a film to explain what biobanks are and why molecular collections are important – available through their website and YouTube channel.

Where to Visit

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery is hosting the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition until January 2022. This world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, was highlighted in the channel 5 documentary series ‘World of Wonder’ in early 2021. It features exceptional images which capture fascinating animal behaviour, spectacular species and the breath-taking diversity and fragility of the natural world.

The Manx Museum recently opened a free temporary exhibition, ‘Extinct’. Developed in partnership with Manx Wildlife Trust, the exhibition follows on from the recent publication of Birds of Conservation Concern Isle of Man by Manx BirdLife and the forthcoming publication of Plants of Conservation Concern Isle of Man by MWT. The exhibition highlights that there are many species that have become locally extinct on the Isle of Man, particularly birds and plants, and this trend is not slowing down. The exhibition is open until May 2022. You can read curator Laura McCoy’s blog about the exhibition here.

What to Read

We’ve got two fascinating new blogs to read – John-James Wilson, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology, World Museum, National Museums Liverpool details the recent acquisition of two ultracold freezers for the storage of DNA samples and the establishment of a DNA bank at World Museum Liverpool.

Jan Freedman (Freelance Museum Consultant) writes about the importance of collections data and how a new initiative, Digital Natural Science UK, will aim to collate digitised collections data from museums across the country to feed into international efforts such as DiSSCo.

Where to Work

The Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society at Dorset Museum are currently advertising two roles – a Collections Assistant (£20K) and a Learning and Community Outreach Co-ordinator (£22.5K), both fixed term until 31/12/2023.

Before You Go…

If you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest please drop an email to

Similarly, if you have something to say about a current topic, or perhaps you want to tell us what you’ve been working on, we welcome new blog articles so please drop Jen an email if you have anything you would like to submit.

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