NMNS Online Collection
Few people would argue that museums in general are not an attraction. Since its establishment in 1986, the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung, Taiwan has welcomed an estimated one hundred million visitors with an average attendance of 3 million each year. But these visitors are mostly seeing the tip of an iceberg, because the vast proportion of the Museum's collection of more than 1.25 million specimens covering virtually four fields of zoology, botany, geology, and anthropology is in its 18 well-equipped storage rooms. Due to the wide prevalence of the Internet and the growing emphasis on visitor-oriented services, the Museum staff thus brainstorms the idea of an online themed exhibition as a corresponding site to its huge collections, which offers a brand-new learning atmosphere and a plurality of learning opportunities, and hence achieves its goal of flipping teaching.
The National Museum of Natural Science officially starts its Online Collection on Saturday, August 1, 2015. A series of virtual tours capture the in-gallery experience, while allowing users to zoom into the museum’s collections. Basically, each exhibition takes two months. This October and November we present ‘Entomopathogenic Fungi’ curated by Dr. Wang Ye-chen, an expert on Ascomycota at the Museum’s Biology Department.
Fungi are a group of eukaryotic, non-phototrophic organisms with rigid cell walls. They can’t perform photosynthesis, so what do they do for nutrients? Some fungi are parasites obtaining nutrients from a host species such as insects. They are called entomopathogenic fungi. Entomopathogenic fungi have received considerable attention and are becoming increasingly popular and important in the public and scientific communities for their potential for either medicinal uses or biological control of pests.
This online exhibition‘Entomopathogenic Fungi’ running till the end of November will illustrate the interactions between fungi, insects, and environment. Also, it will improve our understanding of the natural world and our place in it. Enjoy this fascinating virtual exhibition in new and engaging ways!
"It's our mission to provide evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future," says Museum Director Sun Wei-hsin. "The great potential of this online access is that it takes a huge collection and unleashes the associated data over the internet for all kinds of people. Ultimately, this initiative allows the National Museum of Natural Science to open up its back rooms to the public, so anybody can go online and look for information about specimens they might be interested in."
If the online exhibition can't satisfy your curiosity, you can visit the 12 specimens in person in the Museum's Collection & Research Gallery. Each of the specimens is arranged under the spotlight and in rotation so that visitors can see them clearly.