自然史標本の意義について(<特集>東日本大震災における標本レスキュー活動) [in Japanese] The importance of natural history collections [in Japanese]
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Natural history collections play an essential role in our understanding the formation of the solar system, the history of the Earth, the evolution of life, climate change, energy and resource problems, biodiversity, population genetics, environmental pollution, agricultural use, and so on. These collections are a priceless heritage for future generations as they contain critically important resources for the acquisition of new knowledge. The specimens in the collections have been gathered over the years and form a vast and ever-growing permanent record. Scientists can examine these collections repeatedly, applying new analytical methods and testing new scientific ideas. The collections provide information invaluable for many science fields including systematics. For example, we cannot extract DNA or pesticide residue, or measure stable isotopes, or radiometric ages, from photographs, whereas natural history specimens can provide a wealth of unexpected information. Natural history research is, however, at risk of being eliminated from natural science programs in the current Japanese education system. We need to reinstate natural history education in junior high and high schools and in colleges and universities.
Fossils 93(0), 131-135, 2013
Palaeontological Society of Japan