On March 1, 2021, the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSC Alliance), and Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) – the founding members of the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN), wrote to the House Science Committee about the importance of mobilizing biodiversity specimens and data in spurring new scientific discoveries.
In the letter, the groups highlighted recent reports, including BCoN’s Extended Specimen Network report and the 2020 report on biological collections by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). “Both the NASEM report and the community-informed BCoN report, have articulated a shared vision of the future of biological collections and define a need to broaden and deepen the collections and associated data to actualize the potential for biodiversity collections to inform 21st century science,” the groups note.
“It is time to make critical investments in biodiversity collections and the research and education they enable,” the groups urged. “The rapid development of an Extended Specimen Network is in our nation’s interest, because it will help biodiversity science inform and guide future actions to improve public health, economic well-being, and national security.”