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Long Night of the Sciences

Hauptportal Museum für Naturkunde bei Nacht

During the Long Night of Science, more than 60 scientific and science-related institutions in Berlin and Potsdam will open their doors from 5 pm to midnight. More than 1,400 different programme items will offer exclusive insights into the world of science and research, both on site and online.

The Museum für Naturkunde – Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity will also be opening its exhibition as part of the Long Night and inviting visitors to attend lectures in the Speakers Corner, information stands in the exhibition, talks and explore numerous projects.

Event information

Program in the Museum of Natural History Berlin (excerpt)

What is the primordial dinosaur doing in the X-ray machine?

Join us for an X-ray look at fossils locked in rock for 290 million years! The BROMACKER project invites you to experience research at a fossil site in Thuringia that is unique in the world. A particularly important area of ​​research is the primordial dinosaurs from Bromacker, including early relatives of dinosaurs and mammals like us. See for yourself how researchers at the Museum of Natural History X-ray bones in the CT laboratory that are otherwise hidden from the human eye and create 3D models of them.

Who is DORA? The development of the mollusk collection with customized scanners

Natural history collections have experienced a veritable wave of digitization in recent years. In order to be able to carry out this work in a reasonable time frame, new ways must be developed. One of these paths led to DORA, our new and tailor-made scanning station for object-rich collections. This was developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer IFF and tailored to our needs. Join us on a little behind-the-scenes tour of the mollusc collection and find out who DORA is and what she has to do with MoBBi Dig.

Why digitize?

Digitization has many facets. Images are only a visible result of digitization processes. It also includes the conservational preparation and data collection, which are crucial to ensure traceability and reusability. This complex process, which is presented in the exhibition digitize!, can be viewed serves to provide crucial information for science and society. We invite you to get in touch with our digitization experts to discuss the digital development of insect collections.

Changing Natures. Collecting the Anthropocene together

The Franco-German project Changing Natures at the museums of natural history in Berlin and Paris is launching an open, digital collection experiment: looking for things and everyday objects that tell of the changing environment and help us to better understand the challenges of the future. Visitors to the Long Night are invited to take part in the search for suitable objects and to track down their stories.

On the trail of old writings: The transcription workshop at MfN

The transcription workshop with volunteer participants from all over Germany helps the museum's scientific projects to decipher and index archival materials from the Historical Division. The participants learn to read old scripts and convert historical handwritten documents into modern formats. Familiarize yourself with the Kurrent and Sütterlin scripts, try out the Transkribus online tool, discover historical documents and try your hand at copying the letters of old German scripts with pen and ink.

Madagascar's Cophylinae

With its unique flora and fauna, Madagascar is a well-known biodiversity hotspot. Cophylinae belong to one of the most species-rich frog groups on the island, which stands out due to the variety of shapes and sizes. Studies in recent years have shown that the diversity of the group has been underestimated and numerous new species have remained undiscovered. Our goal is to describe these scientifically by analyzing differences in skeletal structure, optical appearance, genetic makeup and bioacoustics.

The solar system under the microscope

How did the solar system and the planets form? What is the inside of planets like? Are there the same rocks on the Moon or Mars as on Earth? Come with us on a journey through the solar system and find out what answers meteorites from our research collection give to such questions. We also offer insights into the research of cosmic dust in the form of micrometeorites, which are collected from Berlin rooftops and examined together with citizens. You might even find a cosmic speck of dust under the microscope!

Fantastic beasts and how they develop: the MfN's embryological collection

Embryos – developmental stages of animals before hatching or birth – are fascinating, touching and create a sense of connection. This is no coincidence, because our common evolutionary history lies in the embryological stages of development. With more than 600 species of vertebrates, the embryological collection is one of the largest and most species-rich collections in the world, which is made accessible using the latest technology. We show what exciting questions can be addressed with this unique scientific resource in which our own evolution lies hidden.

Does natural history have a colonial history?

Natural science museums are inextricably linked to colonial history. This is also the case with the MfN: since it was founded in 1810, it has received collections from all over the world, for example from South America and Australia and later from the areas colonized by the German Empire. At the MfN we have been dealing with the colonial provenance of the collection for years. In the Long Night of Science we present current research and ask how natural history museums should assume their responsibility for colonial heritage.

Music of sea snails

How do snail patterns actually sound? An interdisciplinary team of students from the TU Berlin investigated this question in the lab:prepare course. They were inspired to answer this question by the structure of a drum music box. In order to make a wide variety of cone and olive snails ring, the MfN, under the leadership of Mediasphere For Nature, granted them access to the malacological collection, where they 3D digitized snails using photogrammetry and then interpreted them acoustically. Listen and be amazed!

Over 400 million years of green: a brief history of the evolution of land plants

Beginning with the first settlements in the Ordovician, the development of vascular plants in the Lower Devonian and the first forests, the radiation of plants in the Carboniferous and Permian, major changes in the Mesozoic and the emergence of angiosperms to the modern flora of the present. Using a timeline illustrated by representative collection pieces, we provide insights into the evolution of plants, which is documented by fossils. We not only talk about the fossil plants themselves, but also about their daily work, be it collection work, laboratory work or science.

How does knowledge come into the world?

Current scientific research work and its results are required on topics such as climate change, species extinction, the destruction of nature, but also new species discovered and species protection. How do they get into the world quickly, researchable and reusable for everyone? The coordination office for scientific publishing at the museum is committed to open and free publishing and presents the initiatives of the MfN in order to be able to spread the latest research findings to the wider world.

ECSA − Science by All for All

People across Europe carry out scientific experiments as citizen researchers. Because the best science is created when everyone can participate. That's why we need you! Visit ECSA to conduct scientific experiments on air quality and learn more about our projects. Whether it's a walk in the park or relaxing at home, there are many ways to get involved!