NatSCA Digital Digest – May 2023

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

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

Sector News

NatSCA Conference

The NatSCA annual conference and AGM was held at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th April 2023. The focus this year was So how do we actually do all this? Hopeful futures and turning theory into practice for big issues in natural history collections.

With 86 delegates present each day plus over 20 online, it was great to welcome everyone back to physical NatSCA conferences. A huge thanks to everyone that attended and to our speakers for the brilliant talks! For those that were unable to attend, we’re hoping to make the presentations available online in the near future.

SPNHC Conference

The 38th Annual Meeting of The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections is being held in San Francisco, California 28 May – 2 June 2023. Full details here.

SHNH International Summer Meeting

This year’s SHNH International Summer Meeting, ‘The Language of Nature’, will take place at Thinktank, Millennium Point, Birmingham on Tuesday 13 June 2023 (with visits planned for 14 June). This one-day international meeting will explore the language of nature in its broadest sense. Over centuries, different formats and mediums, stylistic approaches and classification systems have been used to describe and represent the natural world. These ‘languages’ influence how we conceive of nature, how we categorise it, how we wonder at it and who we credit with its ‘discovery’. This conference aims to bring new perspectives to the history of natural history writing and other expressions of nature, exploring not only the creativity and originality involved but also the limitations and biases that shape our understanding of the natural world and how it has been perceived throughout history. Full details here.

NatSCA Lunchtime Chats

The new lunchtime chats are for members only and run on the last Thursday of every month.

This series is supposed to be informal, no fancy equipment is needed, it will be put out over the NatSCA Zoom platform and there is no fixed format. For those who want to take part please email to put forward your idea; if a stable internet connection for what you want to achieve is tricky we can put up a pre-recorded video and then speakers can jump in at the end for the discussion.

Bring your sandwiches and a cuppa and we hope to see you on the day! All members will have received a link to join via Zoom (the same link works for all sessions) – if you haven’t, get in touch with

What to Do

Food for Thought, Food for Change

Have you ever wondered what the foods of the future will be? Or how climate change will impact the way we cook and eat crops around the world? Join researchers from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, at ‘Food for Thought, Food for Change’ to find out how they are working to adapt the crops we have and to develop new crops that can survive amidst the changing climate crisis. 24th May at 7.30pm at The Greyhound, 82 Kew Green, London – full details here.

What to Read

We have two new NatSCA blogs to read this month. Dr Simon Jackson, Collections and Learning Curator (Natural Sciences) at Colchester + Ipswich Museums, celebrates the recent success of achieving Designated status for the Post-Cretaceous Geology Collection at Ipswich Museum.

Bethany Palumbo, ACR, Head of Conservation Unit at The Natural History Museum of Denmark highlights the engagement and publicity opportunities that come with taking down iconic specimens such as a Diplodocus in preparation for moving to a new building.

Where to Work

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, are seeking a Digitisation Quality Assurance & Workflow Manager experienced in Herbarium and Fungarium specimen digitisation, to provide leadership and support to the Quality Assurance Team. Closing date for applications May 14th, full details here.

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is seeking to appoint a Project Paper Conservator to work exclusively on the unique and rare Buckland Archive for 8 months. The successful candidate will be flexible, use their initiative to move the project forward, and have a recognised qualification in the conservation of paper or related materials, or equivalent training and experience. Click here for further details or contact the Librarian & Archivist, Danielle Czerkaszyn, or 01865 272982. Closing date: 22 May 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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