The book: Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey.
Day and time: September 27 at 6 pm.
Dinner: You favorite dish/meal
The Natural History Museum Web site: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/
Some interesting quotes from the book:
To more you know about nature, the more you see, and this is enriching.
The Natural History Museum is, the first and foremost, a celebration of what time has done to life.
I believe profoundly in the importance of museums; I would go as far as to say that you can judge a society by the quality of its museums.
A life accumulates a collection: of people, work and perplexities. We are all our own curators .
There is a close relationship between scientist, curator and librarian. Like the “algal” partner in lichen, all three are capable of independent existence. But working together in the Museum environment, the different virtues of all three partners produce something greater than any individual could on his or her own. The scientists might have the kind of manic devotion to research … but without a great library the work might not have the depth that makes a classic; the curator for his part is vital in ensuring that the contribution is there for posterity, and for other students.
The end of all this is to open humankind’s eyes and hearts to the joy of our world’s biological richness, from microbe to mastodon. From Selaginella to Sequoia. The means is to continued discovery, unraveling the Tree of Life, and describing the fascinating biographies of a million organisms. Every species on Earth has its story to tell. But the first stage will always be the naming of names.