The Natural History Museum Annual Report 2002|03
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Our research
We are currently developing four key areas of our research to meet the needs of our international partners – soil biodiversity, evolutionary and developmental genetics, UK biodiversity and biomedical sciences.

The importance of the Museum’s scientific work was recognized by the House of Lords Select Committee for Science and Technology, which in 2002 published the results of its inquiry into the state of systematics – the science of naming, describing and classifying life on Earth.

The report argued for improved Government funding, in order to enhance the provision of scientific training and to facilitate better use of taxonomic resources. It showed that funding for UK systematics institutions has fallen since the last inquiry in 1992, in spite of the growing demand for systematists.

The Museum is doing much to address the issues raised in the report. We have expanded our training provision at postgraduate level, and we are developing teaching modules for undergraduate courses. We are committed to opening up our resources to wider access, for example through online collections databases. And we are constantly evolving our scientific priorities to meet public and government concerns.

We are currently developing four key areas of our research to meet the needs of our international partners – soil biodiversity, evolutionary and developmental genetics, UK biodiversity and biomedical sciences.

In 2002 our scientists were once again in the public eye, commenting on discoveries and topics of current interest. Several were publicly recognized for their achievements. Dr Andrew Smith was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and Rob Huxley became the first non-North American President of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.

Last year we welcomed 8,939 scientists who visited us for a total of 15,416 visitor days.

Science strategy: www.nhm.ac.uk/science/strategy.html
Science themes: www.nhm.ac.uk/science/index.html


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