Smithsonian asks judge's help with bug collection

June 12, 2014 by Jessica Gresko

Entomologist Carl J. Drake spent his life studying bugs. When he died in 1965, he left his life savings and his vast insect collection to the Smithsonian. But now Drake's will has become something of a pest.

The Smithsonian Institution says that after nearly half a century, it's having difficulty carrying out the wishes Drake spelled out in his will. That includes fulfilling the mission he gave the institution for his money: buy more . That's why the Smithsonian is asking a in Washington for permission to modify Drake's will.

The Smithsonian says it's only had to ask to modify a will once or twice in the last half century and that it wants to use Drake's money not just to purchase insects but also to buy supplies and to support .

Explore further: US reaches plea deal with NSA spy whistle-blower

Related Stories

US reaches plea deal with NSA spy whistle-blower

June 9, 2011

An ex-senior official in the top secret US National Security Agency will plead guilty to exceeding authorized use of a computer in a classified information leak case, court papers showed Thursday.

Smithsonian launches marine effort with $10M gift

October 25, 2012

(AP)—The Smithsonian is launching a new initiative to study coastal waters and create the first global network monitoring climate change and human impacts on ocean life with a $10 million gift.

High CO2 spurs wetlands to absorb more carbon

July 16, 2013

( —Under elevated carbon dioxide levels, wetland plants can absorb up to 32 percent more carbon than they do at current levels, according to a 19-year study published in Global Change Biology from the Smithsonian ...

That's farm salmon on your plate

July 19, 2013

Some of the earliest written accounts of the legal protection of salmon and their spawning grounds date back to Richard the Lionheart (1189 – 1199), the King of England, who decreed that rivers and streams should have a ...

Cornell president named new head of Smithsonian

March 10, 2014

The Smithsonian Board of Regents on Monday named Cornell University President Dr. David Skorton to lead the world's largest museum and research complex in the U.S. capital.

Recommended for you

Trade in invasive plants is blossoming

October 3, 2015

Every day, hundreds of different plant species—many of them listed as invasive—are traded online worldwide on auction platforms. This exacerbates the problem of uncontrollable biological invasions.

Ancestral background can be determined by fingerprints

September 28, 2015

A proof-of-concept study finds that it is possible to identify an individual's ancestral background based on his or her fingerprint characteristics – a discovery with significant applications for law enforcement and anthropological ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.