S2.1 Impact of natural science collections in the digital era


Ms Ana Casino1, Mr Thierry Bourgoin1, Ms Michelle Price1

1Cetaf, Consortium Of European Taxonomic Facilities, Brussels, Belgium


Tackling global challenges is now an imperative. Society requests action from all actors in addressing and handling critical environmental-related issues (food security, biodiversity loss, climate change) on a global scale. The urgency of the problem needs a prompt response and harmonised efforts to ensure biodiversity sustainability and a fair use of natural resources. The post-2020 Framework for Biodiversity will fix priorities and action areas. Scientists worldwide acknowledge the need to have reliable, precise and open data to inform decisions and to drive strategies at a global scale. For that, natural history collections are pivotal and taxonomy is essential in providing the accurate and trustworthy knowledge base. We propose to bring together taxonomists, biologists, ecologists and scientists from other disciplines to discuss the value, roles and impact of collections data in the digital era. We would like to explore how our scientific community provides, and plans to enhance, the direct use of collections (physically and virtually) as well as access to the huge amount of data contained in them. Processes (digitising collections), tools (high-level dashboards) and best practices are essential to facilitate open access to that data. We also aim to discuss how to acknowledge and value the use of the collection data in finding solutions to societal challenges, and to measure the impact of them on science and society. Representatives from natural sciences (taxonomy, ecology) and social disciplines (statistics, economics, sociology) will contribute with their own approaches to build the new business model that is needed to support the use of digital knowledge in the long-term.

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