THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM IN LONDON
The Natural History Museum in London undertakes many activities in formal and informal education, directly or indirectly relevant to biodiversity, and based on the Museum's collections and expertise in scientific research and education:
- The Museum's galleries are a focus for family visits and a resource for schools, with supplementary materials linked to specific stages of education and parts of the school curriculum-there is also a teachers' centre, which has a range of support materials. The museum employs education professionals who interact with school groups and teachers, and who provide an education input to exhibition design and interpretation.
- The Museum has a new hands-on investigation centre for 7-14 year-olds that enables children to undertake scientific exploration of museum specimens and living material. A wildlife garden in the Museum's ground recreates a number of UK habitats, showing biological diversity as it occurs in particular environments.
- The Museum runs a MSc course on advanced methods in taxonomy and biodiversity with Imperial College London for around 20 postgraduate students each year. Many Museum scientists teach on undergraduate courses and supervise doctoral students (around 80 at any one time) on topics under the broad umbrella of biological diversity.
- The Museum operates adult informal education courses and a system of professional qualifications for identification of organisms
- Much of the Museum's life sciences research is related to biological diversity, producing publications on fundamental science or more applied products such as keys, guides and inventories for many parts of the world. A number of the Museum's international science projects have collaborative educational elements for local communities or capacity building for local expertise-combining direct collaboration and training with innovative use of information technology.
- New developments in collections spaces-the Darwin Centre-is based on a new philosophy of public interaction with the Museum's collection. The Darwin Centre will hold almost 50 million plants and animals. This new access will be mediated by professional interpreters and scientists and will aim to show, among other things, the importance and scale of biological diversity.
The Museum's website is developing to provide access to information on science and Museum resources, ranging from collections databases and images to interactive educational materials