Darwin's collections 'cocooned' at London museum

Sep 08, 2009
A museum employee looks over the "Cocoon" at the Darwin Centre at The Natural History Museum in London. The new 78 million pound(129 million dollar) centre is a scientific research and collections facility that can be used by over 200 scientists at a time.

London's Natural History Museum on Tuesday unveiled an eight-storey extension in the shape of a cocoon to house the collections of Charles Darwin.

The new ultra-modern white addition to the imposing Victorian includes the Darwin Centre, a state-of-the-art research and exhibition facility named after the father of the theory of evolution.

The 78 million pound (89 million euro, 129 million dollar) building houses 17 million insect specimens and three million plant specimens as well as a Climate Change Wall of screens showing the impact of global warming.

Sharon Ament, director of public engagement at the museum, said the Darwin Centre "will really show our visitors why and how our scientists tackle some of the most pressing issues we face today -- from the spread of disease to the impact of climate change on the planet's wildlife."

The museum's director, Michael Dixon, said he hoped the extension would boost the 3.8 million visitors it already attracts every year, when it opens to the public on September 15.

"There seems to be a public appetite for being more involved and knowing more about the big environmental issues of the day," he said.

Darwin's seminal 1859 work "On the Origin of Species" set out his , by which species develop from generation to generation by a process of natural selection.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Lupin bread rises to the quality challenge

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Evolution revolution

Nov 22, 2005

The blue-footed booby, the giant turtle and the horned toad are among several unusual creatures currently on show at The American Museum of Natural History. They form part of new exhibition, running until May ...

Darwin egg from Beagle voyage found by museum volunteer

Apr 10, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- An egg collected by Charles Darwin while on HMS Beagle - and thought to be the last such specimen known to exist - has been rediscovered by an octogenarian volunteer at Cambridge University's Zoology Museum.

Why didn't Darwin discover Mendel's laws?

Feb 27, 2009

Mendel solved the logic of inheritance in his monastery garden with no more technology than Darwin had in his garden at Down House. So why couldn't Darwin have done it too? A Journal of Biology article argues that Darwin ...

Recommended for you

Scientists see how plants optimize their repair

5 hours ago

Researchers led by a Washington State University biologist have found the optimal mechanism by which plants heal the botanical equivalent of a bad sunburn. Their work, published in the Proceedings of the Na ...

User comments : 0