Monday, October 1, 2007

Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway

The Natural History Museum is actually a collection of three museums in a beautiful park setting in the City of Oslo. The main museum buildings house traditional collections in botany, geology, and zoology.

The museums are non-interactive and are organized along traditional lines of classification. In the Geology museum, for example, the lower floor provides a large number of rock specimens in the areas of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary geology.
The upstairs floor is devoted to physical and chemical processes in geology, mineralogy, and paleontology, including a full-sized cast of the T-rex Stan (who is now believed to have been a female).

The zoology museum is a series of dioramas and specimens in cases, with a small area for changing exhibitions. The museum had just closed an exhibition they had developed on homosexuality in animals. This exhibition brought in a large number of visitors and will soon be going on tour internationally. Many of the diaramas, including this heron, are beautifully done.

A large part of the park-like campus is devoted to several botanical gardens, which have been well-designed, well-maintained, and are a joy to spend time in.

Collections ranged from a nicely laid out rose garden to an aromatic smell garden to a rock garden that was created from the bequest of a man who had lived near the park and had grown up walking through it as a child.

Of particular interest was the signage, which was relatively sparse but full of interesting stories and tidbits. At the ginkgo tree grove, for example, in addition to the usual information about being one of the oldest types of trees still in existence, visitors can learn that ginkgo leaves were chewed by monks because the leaves contain a substance that reduced their need to urinate during long religious ceremonies.

While the museum has recently organized several public forums on global warming, it has not considered developing any exhibitions on climate change, in large part because the geologists associated with the museum think in geologic time scales, have studied the variability of the global climate throughout geologic time, and are unconvinced that the current global warming has an anthropogenic origin.


Anonymous said...

I have a blog containing good information on global warming. Ozone has doubled since the mid-19th century due to chemical emissions from vehicles, industrial processes and the burning of forests, the British climate researchers wrote. Carbon dioxide has also risen over that period. History of global warming is very deep since 1850.

scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.