The Museum of Science in Boston is dedicating Sunday, Nov. 18 to biodiversity and tackling a big question: How can we work to preserve life on our planet while coping with the needs of our species?
The first Biodiversity Day will allow visitors to embark on biodiversity adventures and citizen science activities to live animal presentations and forums where visitors join scientists to address the complexities of protecting Earth's diversity of life. It is included in the cost of an entry ticket to the Museum's exhibit halls.
"As humans, we rely on the extraordinary variety and interconnectedness of life on Earth for food, medicine, industrial products, clean air, water and soil, stable climate, education, research, even fun," says David Sittenfeld, the Museum's Biodiversity Day coordinator. "We also have an observable impact on this biological diversity, though we often forget it."
The Museum was one of several institutions around the world to lead consultations of 3,000 people in 25 countries on Earth's diversity of life and how to manage threats to it. In October their recommendations were presented to the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India.
Here are some highlights of the day:
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Aaron Bernstein, associate director of Harvard University's Center for Health and the Global Environment and coauthor of Sustaining Life, will address how human health depends on biodiversity. A panel discussion, moderated by former Public Radio International Living on Earth host Bruce Gellerman, will explore biodiversity through the eyes of environmental scientist Marie Studer; Staples environmental affairs vice president Mark Buckley; Whole Foods Market ecoczar Lee Kane; and a citizen who participated in the global biodiversity consultation. Audience questions will follow.
3:45 p.m. – 5 p.m. A forum will engage interested visitors and experts in thinking critically about threats to biodiversity and who should protect and regulate biodiversity at a policy level.
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. MassAudubon, Boston Natural Areas Network, Grow Boston Greener, Grow Native Massachusetts, the Bracken Lab, Arnold Arboretum scientists, the Encyclopedia of Life, students from MIT, and others will offer activities, information or research on biodiversity.
--1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Museum educators demonstrate live animals and other hands-on biodiversity activities.
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