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Collections support research...

Now, people often misunderstand collections. People think that institutions like the California Academy which has a magnificent collection - well, we've collected everything. Well, we haven't even collected everything in the United States, let alone anywhere else in the world. But these are our permanent records of nature's natural heritage, of a nation's heritage. And every nation needs to have some permanent collections of their biodiversity because we don't have that record without collections.

And collections support research. All museums have hundreds and thousands of investigators over the years coming into their institution, looking at these collections. And they may be ecologists - we have ecologists coming to our collections because they want to know what was there in a particular locality if they're setting up an environmental monitoring program. Collections meet needs of health scientists. I mentioned DDT. But all kinds of users come into collections because of the data that are contained there and on the specimen labels. They provide the support for public and formal education. You would not be in this room today if it weren't for collections and for the scientists who use collections. You wouldn't have any informal science education in this museum without collections and the science that derives from those collections to inform the content of the exhibitions. Then, of course, through exhibits, we promote the awareness of biodiversity.



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