One mission, five actions

The Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (National Museum of Natural History) has almost four centuries of scientific challenges behind it, but it is resolutely facing the future, bringing together disciplines and professions that make it a benchmark institution for ecological and social issues. Through the scope of its activities marrying the natural, human and social sciences, it is able to rally incomparable levels of skills and knowledge and to shine a scientific light on the major challenges of the 21st century.


The Muséum studies the Earth and life since its origins up to the present day, and plays a unique role in the world of research into biodiversity, geodiversity and the study of humanity. Its researchers work both on the ground and in the laboratory, taking part in many explorations in France and worldwide to inventory and study the planet’s natural and cultural diversity.
In order to have a better understanding of the Earth, how it has evolved, relationships between the human species and nature, the Muséum brings together many complementary disciplines such as geology, palaeontology, systematics, ecology, biology, physiology, genetics, chemistry, prehistory, anthropology, ethnobiology and the conservation of the heritage.

Enhancing, enriching and conserving the collections, and making them available

The Muséum is a real library of the Natural World, managing and enriching one of the three greatest collections of Natural History in the world and making it accessible.
Its natural history collections cover all areas of current or lost natural and cultural diversity, be it animal, vegetable or mineral, coming from meteorites or fossil-based, as well as prehistoric, anthropological and ethnological objects. The Muséum also has one of the world’s most complete libraries in these disciplines, with the mission of conserving, enriching and communicating documentary resources which are a reference for the sciences of Nature and Man and their history.
As a reminder of nature’s diversity, the Muséum’s natural history and documentary collections are an exceptional tool which is made available to all scientists worldwide.


This founding initiative has been in place since the inception of the Muséum, and draws on the wealth of the institution’s collections and its multidisciplinary research.
The teaching is shared between several centres of knowledge:

  • Master’s in Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution,
  • Doctoral School in Natural and Human Sciences: ecology and evolution,
  • teaching at Bachelor level in partnership with the Sorbonne University,
  • in-service training for teachers in primary and secondary schools,
  • training for businesses and professionals.

Disseminating knowledge

Ever since it was founded, it has been the Muséum’s remit to transmit natural history knowledge, thereby contributing to raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity and geodiversity, and of the future of humanity and the planet.
These are presented through its galleries, zoological parks and botanical gardens, permanent and temporary exhibitions, collections, animals, plants, educational events, seminars and films. It also provides access to unique documentary resources via its libraries, while broadcasting online content and publishing books. Its mission is to make knowledge and information about natural and cultural diversity accessible to everyone and help all citizens understand more clearly the world around them.


The Muséum has put in place an expertise mission for the French State and many different national and international, public and private stakeholders, in order to respond to questions from decision-makers and society in general.
This programme draws on the institution’s scientific knowledge and that of a network of experts. It provides scientific assistance for the development and assessment of nature conservation policies, the identification of the conservation status of different species, natural habitats and ecosystems, the development of indicators and impact assessments for new projects.

Key figures

The team

• Around 2,500 staff members;

• 500 of whom are affiliated to other organisations and entities.


• 570 researchers;

• 1,500 scientific publications a year.


• 68 million specimens in the natural history collections;

• Over 10 million specimens or batches computerised or digitised;

• Over 2 million documents, books, periodicals, electronic resources, archives, drawings, and scientific and artistic objects in the libraries.


• Over 250 Master’s students;

• 150 doctoral students.

Numbers of visitors

• Around 6 million people have visited the Muséum’s 13 sites, over 3 million of whom were paying visitors;

• Over 6 million visitors to the websites.


• Over 60 million items of data on species in the Inventaire national du Patrimoine naturel (National Inventory of Natural Heritage [INPN]);

• Over 8 million items of data on the flora found in the Paris Basin;

• Over 200,000 million species catalogued in France in the Inventaire national du Patrimoine naturel (INPN).