The Value of Museum Collections for Research and Society

TitleThe Value of Museum Collections for Research and Society
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSuarez, Andrew V., and Tsutsui Neil D.
JournalBioScience
Volume54
Start Page66
Issue1
Pagination69-74
Date Published01/2004
Keywordsbiological invasions, global climate change, museum collections, national security, public health and safety
AbstractMany museums and academic institutions maintain first-rate collections of biological materials, ranging from preserved whole organisms to DNA libraries and cell lines. These biological collections make innumerable contributions to science and society in areas as divergent as homeland secu- rity, public health and safety, monitoring of environmental change, and traditional taxonomy and systematics. Moreover, these collections save governments and taxpayers many millions of dollars each year by effectively guiding government spending, preventing catastrophic events in public health and safety, eliminating redundancy, and securing natural and agricultural resources. However, these contributions are widely underappre- ciated by the public and by policymakers, resulting in insufficient financial support for maintenance and improvement of biological collections.
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