The committed Museum

Environmental awareness and the protection of the planet are fuelling contemporary debates. As a fully committed player on these issues, le Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (the National Museum of Natural History) has a universal vision of scientific knowledge, at a time when new sources of concern are emerging and science is evoking a certain reaction of distrust.

Commitment is at the heart of our mission and activities: to archive nature's heritage; to know and understand what makes up the Earth on its temporal plane; to disseminate a rigorous scientific message; to provide expertise on complex issues by shedding light on possible futures. The current trajectory of our planet requires a strong mobilisation, in which we want to involve you.

Man and nature

While the Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting our lifestyles, it is also leading us to question our social models and the collective principles that guide our actions. Our certainties are being called into question, knowledge is expanding, cultures are crossing paths and positions are sometimes taken outside scientific rationality, which is actually extremely important. At its own level, the Museum is helping to raise awareness of the interdependence of ecosystems by advocating the "One Health" concept. This puts the relationship between Homo sapiens and the rest of the living world at the centre. It reinforces the close links between the health of humans, animals and ecosystems. One cannot exist without the others. It is therefore a question of reaffirming the interconnection of living things and defending an ethic for the planet.

Jian-Sheng Sun, professeur au Muséum et directeur du département scientifique "Adaptations du vivant" revient sur les enjeux de la vaccination à l'ère de la pandémie de Covid-19.

© MNHN - 2021

Spheres of influence

Through its unique position at the crossroads of research, culture and society, the Museum bears a responsibility. It engages in public debate by making a strong scientific voice heard throughout the world. This is demonstrated by our contribution to and participation in the negotiations of the commitments signed by France: the Paris Agreement of 2015 at the end of COP 21, and the COP 15 Biodiversity in China, in 2021. We are strengthening our presence around the world, with the opening of several permanent representations, guaranteeing a solid link within the area. Finally, the institution shines through its naturalist explorations, which enrich its collections and promote the development of knowledge. Not to mention the fact that our exhibitions travel all over the world.

Travail sous la pluie sur les pentes du Mont Wilhelm  (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée) à 3 700 m. Collecte des insectes dans les pièges disposés dans les parcelles d'étude par les « parataxonomistes » papous du BRC (Binatang Research Center).

© MNHN/PNI - X. Desmier

Sous-bois d'une forêt de moyenne altitude, Mont Wilhelm (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée)

© MNHN/PNI - X. Desmier

Collecte d’échantillons de coraux sur la pente externe du lagon de Madang (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée)

© MNHN/PNI - X. Desmier

Collecte d'échantillons d'algues sur la zone infralittorale du lagon de Madang (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée)

© MNHN/PNI - X. Desmier

Expertise d'un site funéraire : des prélèvements (pièces squelettiques, sédiments, charbon) seront effectués pour datation. Kuiseb Delta River, photographies prises lors de l'expédition en Namibie en 2015 dans la grotte de Leopard Cave.

© MNHN - O. Enderlin

Sharing science

The creation and transmission of reliable knowledge is one of the Museum's core activities. But everyone can contribute to the development of scientific knowledge. This is what participatory science, which is experiencing remarkable growth and in which the Museum has been a pioneer in France for over twenty years, is all about. Be they novice or experienced naturalists, all citizens with a passion for nature are invited to participate in the collection of data that researchers could not obtain alone. This information is crucial in assessing the impact of environmental changes. In this respect, participatory science is a wonderful opportunity to renew the dialogue between science and society, which is essential to the health of our democracies.

Sciences participatives à la station marine de Dinard

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Participant pour l’observatoire de sciences participatives Sauvages de ma rue

© MNHN - M. Evanno
Sciences participatives à la station marine de Dinard

Sciences participatives à la station marine de Dinard

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Biolit, l'observatoire de sciences participatives du littoral

© Planète Mer

Raising awareness

The aim is to restore confidence in scientific messages, to contribute to raising awareness and to encourage everyone's commitment. To achieve this, the Museum has a powerful tool, namely the transmission of knowledge through in its galleries, museums, botanical gardens and zoological parks, and also, equally, via digital technology and provision of access to science for all. From now on, the voice of the Institution will be the “Manifestes du Muséum” (Museum Manifestos), multidisciplinary texts providing the scientific perspective of natural history on current issues, and the “Tribunes”, dynamic meetings inviting dialogue between science and society. And don't miss the podcast series "Pour que nature vive", which helps the understanding of nature and its complexity in order to better preserve it.

Photo des manifestes du Muséum

Muséum Manifesto. A Natural History of Violence

This Manifesto attempts to understand where violence commes from throught natural history, from earliest times and beyond the human species. Are all forms of violence comparable? What is violence? What are its natural origins?

  • Coédition : Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle / Reliefs Édition
  • Collective, under the direction of Guillaume Lecointre, zoologist, systematist and professor at the Museum
  • 2021
  • Bilingual French / English
  • 96 pages
  • 7,50 €
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