Museos en el Antropoceno: Definiendo nuevas buenas prácticas ante la crisis de la biodiversidad

Claudio Campagna, Leonardo Campagna


Museums in the Anthropocene: Defining good practices in face of the biodiversity crisis.
Natural History Museums (NHM) have a complex mission that extends from housing collections intended for
scientific research to providing entertainment and education to the general public. The Anthropocene, defined
by a global biodiversity crisis that stems from human impact on ecosystems worldwide, calls for a reevaluation of
the priorities within this mission. Endangered species have redefined the purpose of zoos and aquariums around
the world, impacted academia and are beginning to have repercussions on the goals of some NHM. Assisting in
species conservation is likely to be the key mission that will guide activities in NHM during the next decades; an
obligation from which few institutions in our society will be exempt of. NHM must play a predominant role not
only in presenting this crisis to the general public but also in solving it. In the same way that in the past exploring
and documenting the natural world has defined the need for NHM (and collections help serve this purpose); in the
future, museums must actively seek to mitigate the threat to biodiversity. The crisis does not yet occupy a leading
role in societies’ decision making; however, NHM can contribute to bringing change by refocusing their mission,
and by redefining some of their practices and priorities. In the centre of the debate lie the value of scientific collections
and the procedures by which they are obtained.

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