Natural history museums are scattered across the globe. Many of these museums are also 100s of years old, housing incredible archives and samples of animals, plants, and artisan items that demonstrate how people have depended on nature throughout time. In recent years governments have started to withdraw funding and support for natural history museums, leading to fears about what impacts this will have on the maintenance of archives and samples, and also on the ability for museums to keep their doors open. In addition to their scientific value, museums are also incredibly important for public education and knowledge sharing. Students, families, and entire communities depend on museums for learning about the latest science as well as historical knowledge and examples of foundational scientific discoveries. I am dismayed by various governments’ lack of support of natural history museums. To me, collapsing funding to an integral part of society that supports culture, research, and education, is short sighted and almost deliberate blocking of the public’s access to knowledge. I hope this haiku inspires others to visit, enjoy and support natural history museums around them. If you are inspired, reach out to your local politicians and let them know that you support renewed and ongoing funding of natural history museums near you.
Haiku and photo by Steph Januchowski-Hartley