Museum Collections and Future Pandemics
A recent article in the online World Economic Forum highlights the importance of natural history collections for the analyses, prediction, and preparation for future pandemics. Population growth and the easy nature of international and domestic travel facilitate the outbreaks and spread of viral diseases, which in many cases originate from micro-organisms associated with wildlife. Collections preserve specimens of animals and other organisms, and those specimens ultimately reflect the diversity of life on Earth. But our knowledge of wildlife and the planet’s biodiversity is generally deficient, with many gaps in our understanding of how many and which species live in what parts of the planet. Collections provide the resources to improve on those knowledge-gaps and may in the long run yield valuable information in the global fight against infectious diseases. Read the article here.