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Our new Research Clusters

Lukas Kirschey, Leiter der Insekten- sammlung, prüft einen der neuen Insektenkästen, die höchsten konser- vatorischen Stan- dards entsprechen. Wespen, Bienen und Ameisen werden zuerst digitalisiert – wichtige Typus- Exemplare sogar mit 3D-Scannern.

As a research museum of the Leibniz Association, we are aware of our scientific and social responsibility. We therefore combine research and knowledge transfer with integration and openness! That is why we continue to develop our collection - into a source of sound knowledge, innovation, economic value creation, participation and inspiration for users of all backgrounds. Our collection is the basis for socially highly relevant research on natural and cultural heritage in a globalised world, as well as on questions of how to deal with the shared heritage of humankind and its respectful use today.

In this process, we aim to create space for a diversity of voices from different societal, cultural, social as well as geographical backgrounds to engage in conversation to develop research questions on the challenges of the 21st century, leading to well thought-out answers and solutions in the spirit of Planetary Health. The integrated and open approach enables novel, multi-perspective forms of research and knowledge transfer. Thus, we open up and open our collection as a source for new perspectives and as a starting point for sound answers to the challenges of the 21st century.

The Future Plan of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is the basis for this vision. As an essential part of the Future Plan, there are six new, interdisciplinary research clusters that are being developed in cooperation with national and international partners. These research clusters will contribute to

  • generate new knowledge using state-of-the-art methods,
  • enable social and technical innovation and value creation,
  • inspire people to shape a future worth living,
  • reflect our science and privilege in social terms,
  • strengthen cooperation and respect locally, regionally and globally.

Nature, when explored, also provides guidance and foundations for a long overdue and fundamental transformation. Research at the collection of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin opens up unique views of the cosmic foundations of life (Cluster: early solar system) and of the impact of humans on Earth (all clusters); it explores nature and life since its inception and in the present (Cluster: AutoBio, Cluster: NaturBerlin, Cluster: Embryology & Evolution, Cluster: SoundEvolution); it creates foundations for participation and verifiable predictions as well as interpretive spaces on the significance of nature for societies (Cluster: NaturBerlin, Cluster: OpenHeritage, Cluster: SoundEvolution).

Research on the collection thus gives us an orientation for our possible futures and suggestions on how to shape them. A comprehensively accessible collection links basic research and application-oriented research across disciplinary boundaries. It allows for the consideration of cultural aspects as well as a continuous, also border-crossing and global dialogue with people of the most diverse origins about a common future.

This dialogue aims to convince the population and decision-makers in politics and business to use the existing opportunities for change and to design and implement concrete measures. With our excellent research at our collection, we will contribute to developing innovative methods that specifically enable participatory change processes and make sustainable problem solutions more likely. In the process, we will also change. In this way, we contribute to creating the basis for scientific, social and technical innovations as well as everyday innovative action. Our goal is an open innovation ecosystem, right in the heart of Berlin, committed to the common good.

(c) Lorna Schütte