Just a couple of weeks after the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, which was meant to engage the world in “a billion acts of green,” saw us focusing instead on a global Coronavirus pandemic catalyzed, it would seem, by eating wild animals (most likely bats) from so-called “wet markets” in Wuhan (if you follow the … More Pandemics: Our Complex Relationship with Animals
I’m enjoying a rare opportunity to indulge in a little bit of curation. At Carnegie Museum of Natural History, we are putting up a new display on human evolution called Becoming Human and I’m working with our wonderful exhibitions team to work through the various stages of its development. It’s going to be installed next … More On Becoming Human
I have just accepted a very exciting invitation – to be on the Earth Day 50th Anniversary Global Advisory Committee, joining an incredible list of active supporters of the planet’s environment, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Cousteau, and Alan Horn, Chief Creative Office and Co-Chairman of Walt Disney Studios. The invitation to be … More Sustainability, Earth Day, & Hope for the Future
Much is being said within the museum industry about the definition of museums. ICOM is considering the current definition and whether it needs to be rethought. I think a review is worthwhile, regardless of whether changes are ultimately made. Robust thinking about museums (or any field, in fact), whether related to practice or theory, should … More Natural History and a Unified Museum Definition
I’ve always loved this painting. Vertumnus looks serenely at the viewer, a slight smile making you think he knows something you’d like to. It’s a clever work of Mannerism, seamlessly weaving a complex array of perfectly rendered fruits and other plants into the portrait of a human face full of character. The portrait is of … More Art, Science and the Intersection of Knowledge
If you Google “the world’s most numerous bird,” you will likely be given articles about the Red-Billed Quelea (Quelea quelea), also known as the Red-Billed Weaver Bird or Red-Billed Dioch that lives across most of sub-Saharan Africa. It’s considered the most numerous wild bird on earth, the population sometimes peaking at 1½ billion individuals. Individually, … More Counting Your Chickens: The World’s Most Numerous Bird
The rapid decline of the global environment is an inescapable fact. The Earth’s major oxygen sources, coral reefs and rain forests, are disappearing along with the species that live in them. Atmospheric carbon is rising precipitously and one in a hundred year storms are becoming the norm. As the planet warms and forests are removed … More In an age of humans, can the arts save the planet?