So far, some 1.9 million species are known to mankind. This accounts for about 20 % of the total estimate of extant species. Modern, global biodiversity research strives to compile a complete account of life on earth. Discovering and describing all species will not only allow us to have a full inventory of life or to understand organisms, but will help us to protect them and potentially utilize them for societies grande challenges, be it food, water or climate security, supply of energy, discovery of new medicines or helping to solve environmental pollution and fight emerging diseases. Science at the Museum für Naturkunde, in close collaboration with many national and international partners, generates, organizes and coordinates information on local, national and global biodiversity, providing new insights through exact geographic, temporal and genetic information.
Therefore, the objects and object information available in the museum's collections are documented and studied. At the same time we are developing and using new methods, services and tools to create an inventory of life while also making them globally available to citizens, government, business and science.