21A5 Our vision | Natural History Museum

Our vision

Archaeopteryx, the Museum's most important fossil

We live in a time of extraordinary technological and scientific discovery, while societies face formidable environmental challenges.

The Museum - with its vast collections and pioneering research programme - is powerfully placed to engage audiences with the science they need to know and the decisions we need to make about our future.   

The Museum’s purpose is to challenge the way people think about the natural world - its past, present and future. We aim to stimulate public debate about humanity's future and equip our audiences at every level with an understanding of science. We focus on three themes:

  • origins and evolution: the 4.5-billion-year history of our solar system, the Earth and life
  • diversity of life: today’s natural diversity among species, habitats and ecosystems
  • sustainable futures: the future of the natural systems that our society depends on

Our purpose has never been more important or urgent. Species and ecosystems are being destroyed faster than we can document them or understand their significance, placing resources that modern society relies upon under threat.

The Museum's Strategy to 2020 takes up these challenges, and outlines the four areas we will extend our impact in:

  • digital: using technology to create new, innovative ways for people to interact with our collection
  • national: creating networks throughout the UK to support science in schools and engage society with programmes like citizen science and Real World Science
  • international: developing global relationships to help tackle major scientific challenges and create new commercial opportunities
  • London: improving the Museum's grounds and galleries to enhance our visitors' experience

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