The science of natural history

In some ways, biological science has remained unchanged – we still use the same method of classifying living things that originated in the eighteenth century. In other ways, we have made unbelievable progress, right down to unravelling the secrets of DNA. Find out how the Museum's scientists collect the information they need, the history of scientific discovery and why the information affects every single one of us.

  • A Museum scientist studying a ragworm specimen
    Museum research

    Discover the innovations, implications and inspirations behind the Museum's research.

  • Beetle specimens from the Museum's collection
    Taxonomy and systematics

    How do we name, rank and classify organisms? And what other ways are there to examine wildlife? Explore the Museum's extensive resources to discover the answers.

  • A diver collecting nematode worms
    Expeditions and collecting

    Read about the early voyages of discovery and find out why the Museum's collections are so vital to our knowledge of the past, present and future.

  • A statue of Charles Darwin at the Natural History Museum
    Natural history pioneers

    Learn about the life and work of revolutionary scientists, explorers and artists who have opened our eyes to the natural world.

  • A scientist at work in the Museum's Life Sciences Department
    The scientific process

    How do scientists work out the age of rocks? And what have they learned about the relationships between species from modern technologies like powerful microscopes and DNA sequencing?

Art, nature and imaging

Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, watercolour from the India collection

Discover how natural history art and imaging techniques have developed since the 17th century and explore selected artworks from the Museum’s world-class art collections.

Art, nature and imaging