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Free ‘Our Broken Planet’ display opens on 21 May 2021

Explore how humanity has affected the planet and how scientists are finding solutions from nature for nature at the Natural History Museum’s brand-new free display - a part of its year-long programme of activity, Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It

Free display opens 21 May at the Natural History Museum 

  • Explore how humans have shaped the planet and find solutions to a greener and sustainable future 

  • Experience the Museum’s ground-breaking science firsthand through objects chosen from the Museum’s vast collection of more than 80 million objects by its scientists

  • Be empowered by the Museum to act for the planet: from finding out how what you eat can make a difference, to hearing from young activists working on the frontline of the climate emergency and the fight against plastic pollution

  • Join the conversation online through #ForPeopleandPlanet or add your thoughts directly to the display

Dr Alex Burch, Director of Public Programmes, Natural History Museum, says, ‘Chosen by our scientists, the specimens from the display tell fascinating stories about our time on Earth and have been selected from the world’s greatest collection of over 80 million objects. We hope visitors will immerse themselves in the stories and become more connected with the natural world and their role in saving it for future generations’. 

This Spring, explore the extraordinary impact humans have had on the planet through what we grow and eat, from bees threatened by the loss of wildflower meadows to birds of prey poisoned by pesticides. Opening throughout the year in three stages, the free display will highlight some fantastic species and how our actions are affecting them. From a humongous 3m long black marlin skeleton to the wild and now-extinct ancestor of cows; visitors will get up close and personal to a variety of creatures from the Museum’s world-leading collection.  

An exploration of the power of humans and the resilience of nature, Our Broken Planet will ask visitors to reflect on their personal consumption and question how our actions have led to these drastic examples. From surprisingly thriving jellyfish to the world’s largest butterfly, Museum scientists continue to research these fascinating species and their habitats to build our understanding of the natural world, and what we can do to protect it.

As part of the wider programme global audiences can engage with fascinating stories on the Museum’s popular digital hub, and enjoy free live digital events exploring key topical issues such as plastic pollution, eco-anxiety and learn from experts who inspire hopeful visions for a more sustainable planet. Past inspiring talks have included Academy Award winner Jane Fonda and young climate activists Mitzi Jonelle Tan and Clover Hogan.

Dates and times:       Monday-Sunday, 10.00-18.00, from 21 May 2021

Admission:                Free, all visitors must book a free timed ticket to the Museum in advance

Location:                    Jerwood Gallery, Natural History Museum

Nearest tube:             South Kensington



Notes for editors 

Media contact: Tel: (0)779 969 0151 Email: 

Images are available here
About the Natural History Museum:

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.