Top Ten Most Read Blogs of 2017

This year has been a riotous 365 days of wolves in dresses, spiral poo, and googly-eyed owls, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve had more articles (up by *84%* on 2016) (that number surely requires bold text), more comments, more feedback, and most importantly- more authors than ever before. The NatSCA blog is clearly the place to find stupendous stories, pretty pictures, wondrous wisdom, and… alluring alliteration it seems. To round up 2017, we have identified the top ten most read blogs of 2017, and, because we are super nice, we have even included links to save you searching for them and facilitate your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome, enjoy, and…

Happy New Year to you all!

The top ten most read blogs in 2017:

1- The curious life of a museum curator

2- Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be?

3- Stirring the hornet’s nest – are natural science collections even legal?

4- National Gorilla Day! (or Racist Skeletons in our Closets)

5- Private Bone/Taxidermy Collection: The Good, The Bad and The Illegal

6- Famous Flies – Petiver

7- Top Ten Most Read Blogs of 2016   (curiously)

8- It’s All In The Subconscious

9- Making Nature; at Wellcome Collection

10- What is a museum curator made of? Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails, and then some…

The number of blogs that have been published through NatSCA this year is the highest we’ve ever had, but next year we want to beat that record so do get in touch with your idea/s if you would like to submit an article to us. You don’t have to be a professional in natural history, as blogs are relatively informal by nature (no pun intended), it just needs to be related to a natural sciences subject which, let’s face it, with the right twist can encompass just about anything. So drop us an email, or peruse the guidelines and then send us a submission; We look forward to hearing from you after you’ve recovered from the turkey and mince pies.

Written by Dr Emma-Louise Nicholls, Deputy Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman Museum and Gardens and NatSCA Blog Manager.

NatSCA Digital Digest

Welcome to the weekly digest of posts from around the web with relevance to natural science collections. We hope you find this useful and if you have any articles that you feel would be of interest, please contact us at

1. Blog: Natural Support from Colleagues

Jan Freedman, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery


The way to best manage and safeguard our natural history collections is to ask for help and guidance from each other, says Freedman. He talks about the different types of natural sciences collections and hazards that we should look out for.

To care for and manage our collections, Freedman explains why it's best to ask each other for help. The smilodon cast LDUCZ-Z2724 at the Grant Museum of Zoology. (C) UCL / Grant Museum of Zoology

To care for and manage our collections, Freedman explains why it’s best to ask each other for help. The Smilodon cast LDUCZ-Z2724 at the Grant Museum of Zoology. (C) UCL / Grant Museum of Zoology

2. Blog: On the Origin of Our Specimens

Emma-Louise Nicholls, Grant Museum of Zoology


In a 12 part series, Nicholls looks at each of the curators that have cared for the collections at the Grant Museum over the last 186 years. Illustrating the series with specimens that can be directly attributed to specific curators, she tells the story of the Museum by demonstrating how each curator added to and steered the development of the collections.

The Grant Museum as it was in the 1880s. (C) UCL / Grant Museum of Zoology

The Grant Museum as it was in the 1880s. (C) UCL / Grant Museum of Zoology

3. Paper: Natural History’s Place in Science and Society

Joshua j. Tewksbury, John G. T. Anderson, Jonathan D. Bakker, Timothy J. Billo, Peter W. Dunwiddie, Martha J. Groom, Stephanie E. Hampton, Steven G. Herman, Douglas J. Levey, Noelle J. Machnicki, Carlos Martínez del Rio, Mary E. Power, Kirsten Rowell, Anne K. Salomon, Liam Stacey, Stephen C. Trombulak and Terry A. Wheeler.


An interesting look at how natural history is of vital importance to a wide range of disciplines. Despite this, it seems that there has been a decline in support for natural history in developed economies. The paper argues that the support should be reinforced as natural history provides a significant benefit to society.

Compiled by Emma-Louise Nicholls, NatSCA Blog Editor