Elkhorn coral from a damaged Caribbean reef, Acropora palmata, credit: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum 

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Third and final section of ‘Our Broken Planet’ opens at the Natural History Museum, completing the free display

The third and final section of the free three-part Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It display opens tomorrow at the Natural History Museum with brand new objects for the public to explore. 

The display invites visitors to delve into how humanity has affected the planet and how scientists are finding solutions from nature for nature, as part of the Museum’s year-long programme of activity in the run up to the global UN conferences of COP15 on biodiversity and COP26 on climate change. Visitors can explore how humans have shaped the planet and find solutions to a greener and sustainable future and experience the Museum’s ground-breaking science firsthand, through over 40 objects chosen from the vast collection.

Following on from the first sections exploring the food we eat and the products we use, the third phase of the Our Broken Planet display explores the energy we consume. With the catastrophic effects of burning fossil fuels already being seen in melting Arctic ice and raging wildfires, the display asks how can we create a greener, cleaner future and start to heal the planet?

Specimens in the new third section include:

·         A juvenile European bison, telling the story of an experimental rewilding project in Kent that will investigate if bison feeding habits will improve the forest’s biodiversity and store more carbon in the soil

·         Blue-green algae collected during Captain Scott's famed RRS Discovery expedition, being used in the study of climate change

·         The recently extinct Chinese paddlefish, a casualty of the global boom in hydroelectric dams

Clare Matterson CBE, Executive Director of Engagement, Natural History Museum, says ‘After the success of the first two sections of Our Broken Planet, we are delighted to be welcoming visitors to the newly-opened final stage of the display. Visitors can find out how the energy we consume impacts the planet through objects selected by our scientists and be empowered to act for nature’.

As part of the wider year-long 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. Upcoming online talks include:

·         Clean and Green: Is a Just Energy Revolution Around the Corner? Speakers include Dr Alice Bell, co-director at the climate change charity Possible, Ricky-Lee Watts (Quu-as name Aamiitalaa), Youth Programme Manager at Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE), and Katinka Palbo, Head of Global Strategy & Global Partnerships at Ørsted. 15 September, 16.30-17.15 BST.

·         Reconnect with Nature, for People and Planet. In conjunction with the British Council in China for the #ReConnect 2021 UK-China Contemporary Culture Festival, join us for a discussion with young changemakers from the UK and China on why connection to nature is more important than ever. Speakers include Lauren Cook, a molecular ecologist and PhD candidate based at the Natural History Museum. 17 September, 13.00-13.45 BST.

Join the conversation online through #ForPeopleandPlanet.

Dates and times:       Monday-Sunday, 10.00-17.50

Admission:                Free, book a free timed to the Museum in advance for guaranteed entry

Location:                    Jerwood Gallery, Natural History Museum

Nearest tube:             South Kensington

Online:                        www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/our-broken-planet.html



Notes for editors 

Media contact: Tel: (0)779 969 0151 Email: press@nhm.ac.uk 

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.