NatSCA Digital Digest – March 2023

Welcome to the March edition of NatSCA Digital Digest.

Compiled by Olivia Beavers, Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at World Museum, National Museums Liverpool.

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 keen to hear from you if you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest, please drop an email to blog@natsca.org.

Sector News

NatSCA Conference 2023

Registration is open for the Annual Conference & AGM of the Natural Sciences Collections Association will be held on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th April 2023. Stoke-on-Trent Museums will be hosting the conference at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. The conference will include gallery and collection tours, presentations, poster sessions and the annual AGM. The focus this year is:

So how do we actually do all this? Hopeful futures and turning theory into practice for big issues in natural history collections

This is the “How To…” conference for people working with natural history collections. The last few years have seen unprecedented changes in the expectations for what the museum sector can deliver. Global and local social and environmental issues have coincided to reinforce the needs of museums to consider their reinvention and relevance.

Register via Eventbrite through the NatSCA website: https://www.natsca.org/natsca2023. Members can access discounted booking rates by entering a promo code which has been distributed. If you are a NatSCA member and have not received a code via email, please contact membership@natsca.org. We look forward to seeing you in April!

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.

Unnatural History Museum session

This session will be held on 22nd March 2023 on the topic of decolonising natural history museums. 

“We are at a crucial historical moment, in which the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List has announced a catastrophic decline in global biodiversity. Yet nature is, necessarily, interpreted in museums, through taxidermy dioramas and skeletal mounts; virtual tours and digital databases; image, text and film. The Unnatural History Museum brings together museum professionals and academics across disciplines to platform vital conversations about the museum mediation of the natural world during the sixth mass extinction.”

Each session is hosted on Zoom to allow for international participation, and takes the format of short presentations focussed around a specific theme, followed by a synthesised Q&A and roundtable discussion. To register and find out more click here.

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NatSCA Digital Digest – February 2023

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

Welcome to the February 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 keen to hear from you if you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest, please drop an email to blog@natsca.org.

Sector News

NatSCA Conference

The NatSCA annual conference and AGM will be held at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th April 2023. The focus this year is:

So how do we actually do all this? Hopeful futures and turning theory into practice for big issues in natural history collections.

This is the “How To…” conference for people working with natural history collections. The last few years have seen unprecedented changes in the expectations for what the museum sector can deliver. Global and local social and environmental issues have coincided to reinforce the needs of museums to consider their reinvention and relevance. Booking will open shortly, so keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates.

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.

DiSSCo UK Community Event

The next DiSSCo UK event will be held on March 3rd, 14:30-16:30 via Microsoft Teams. Please save this date in your calendars! A general update on DiSSCo UK activities and future plans will be provided, and we will hear from our colleagues at Kew regarding their digitisation project, and will discuss the affiliation between natural science collections and the humanities sector. For details, contact Tara Wainwright (tara.wainwright@nhm.ac.uk)

Bursaries for People and Plants workshop 2 at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Friday March 10th 2023)

Applications are now open for 4 funded spaces at workshop 2 of the AHRC funded project ‘People and Plants: reactivating ethnobotanical collections as material archives of Indigenous ecological knowledge’.

Four bursaries of up to £225 each are available. This sum may be set against your travel costs or accommodation costs.

Conditions:

  • Only members of the Natural Science Collections Association and the Museum Ethnographers Group can apply for a bursary.
  • All successful applicants must provide a write up for the NatSCA or MEG blog.
  • Due the funds available, applications are limited to UK residents only.
  • Bursaries are only open to individual members.

To apply for a bursary please write no more than 500 words on how the workshop would be useful for your own personal or professional development, how this fits with your interests and what you might bring to the discussion.

Preference will be given to those lacking institutional support to attend workshops, early career museum professionals and students.

All bursaries are given at the discretion of the project team and the NatSCA and MEG committee. Applicants will be notified by February 20th if they have been successful and travel and accommodation will be booked by the project.

Applications should be sent to: Ali Clark a.clark@nms.ac.uk by Friday February 17th at 5pm.

Details of the workshop: March 10th Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

This workshop will be run in partnership with the Department of Cultures and Languages, Birkbeck, University of London and Museu Goeldi, Brazil. Discussions will be centred around the ecological value of ethnobotanical collections, including a focus on the interaction of western botanical nomenclature and traditional knowledge which forms the basis of an existing British Academy Knowledge Frontiers project. The Richard Spruce collection (1849-1864) will be the basis of a case study for how culture, plants and environment in the northwest Amazon have changed over the last 160 years.

Speakers include: Luciana Martins (Birkbeck), Dagoberto Lima Azevedo (Tukano Indigenous Researcher), Claudia-Leonor Lopez Garces (Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi) and Cinthya Lana (University of Gothenburg)

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NatSCA Digital Digest – January 2023

Compiled by Claire Dean, Project Curator, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery.

Welcome to the January 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 keen to hear from you if you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest, please drop an email to blog@natsca.org.

Sector News

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

We are looking for 20-minute presentations, 5-minute lightning talks, and posters. Work can be presented in-person or digitally. All the details you need are here. The deadline for submission is 5pm GMT Monday 30th January.

Abstract submissions are also now open for SPNHC 2023. 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.

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NatSCA Digital Digest – November 2022

Compiled by Olivia Beavers, Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at World Museum, National Museums Liverpool.

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 from you if you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest, please drop an email to blog@natsca.org.

Sector News

Museum Association Conference 2022 & The Wild Escape

Last week, the Museum Association held their Annual Conference from 3rd – 5th November in Edinburgh. The conference was online and in person for those that could attend.

One of the projects mentioned, that may be of interest to some, was The Wild Escape project led by Art Fund – ‘a major participatory project for museums and schools inspired by the wildlife found in museum and gallery collections’. The project was previously called the Great Escape but aims to connect nature and biodiversity particularly for children aged 7-11 but is relevant for all ages. The project runs from January to June 2023 but can be shortened/lengthened to your museum’s specific needs. Resources are currently online and more are still to come. Grants are still available in Scotland and Wales.

Visit their website to find out more about how to get involved in The Wild Escape project.

Online Symposium: Uniting Earth Science Collections

The Geological Curators Group (GCG) and The Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP)have scheduled a meeting and seminar: Uniting Earth Science Collections. The one-day, online symposium takes place via Zoom on December 1st 2022. The 49th AGM of the Geological Curators Group will follow the first session of the seminar. Find out more and register here.

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NatSCA Digital Digest – October 2022

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

Welcome to the October 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 from you if you have any top tips and recommendations for our next Digest, please drop an email to blog@natsca.org.

Sector News

COP27 and Action for Climate Empowerment
COP27 will be happening in Egypt, in November, as the international meeting of governments to progress climate action. The main programme for the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that relates to the work of museums was already adopted at COP26, in Glasgow. This is called the Glasgow Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment and runs from 2021-31. It covers the public-facing aspect of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement, relating to education, training, public awareness, access to information, public participation and international co-operation on climate change matters. The new programme also sets out a framework for stronger climate action, through effective policies, co-ordinated action, sharing tools and support, and more effective monitoring and communication of climate actions. The new programme specifically points out the important role of a range of sectors, including museums, educational and cultural institutions. Climate action is not just for COP, nor is it just for governments, and the new programme is both a recognition and an invitation for sectors to play their part.

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