TELL BIG STORIES
The museum is a portal to an amazing world.
By offering immersive experiences to those who engage with us, we can make learning and discovery accessible. The important stories are, for us, narratives that reach outside the here and now and make unexpected connections between disparate ideas. This is especially true around the interrelationship between humanity and the rest of nature, through showcasing large-scale stories that impact the lives of individuals.
In 2020-2022, we will look for opportunities to align our scientific output with the strategic goal of telling big stories. We will also continue to showcase our researchers, who create new scientific knowledge. We will explore new audiences through multidisciplinary partnerships for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. We find partners who are strong in the creative arts, humanities, community-building, and other areas are key to expanding our audiences. Through this, we will encourage experiential learning, creative problem-solving, and collaboration.
The Anthropocene, or Age of Humanity, is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Over the next three years, we will continue to demonstrate leadership around the Anthropocene and build global awareness. We will achieve this internally through sharing our vision and goals among museum personnel. Externally, we will build relevance and awareness through partnerships beyond the walls of the museum. We will continue to explore identifying collections of the Anthropocene and explain the predictive potential of systematic scientific collections. We will also advocate for activities that support a more sustainable relationship between humans and nature.
Ecology, the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment, helps us to understand the vital connections between plants and animals and the world around them. Ecology also provides information about the benefits of ecosystems and how we can use Earth’s resources in ways that leave the environment healthy for future generations. A focus between 2020 and 2022 will be to continue our world-class research in this area. We aim to connect people further to the natural world though an exploration of biophilia, the hypothesis that suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.
Understanding evolution is critical for an understanding of the Earth and its inhabitants. It is the only scientific explanation for the diversity of life, the mechanism responsible for the striking similarities among vastly different forms of life, the changes that occur within populations, and the development of new life forms. In 2020-2022, we will continue our preeminent work on evolutionary relationships among species, leveraging our outstanding collection. We will also continue our work of explicitly showcasing evolution in our new and existing visitor experiences.