Resolution on the Fate of the Natural History Museum, London, Systematics Collections

WHEREAS, the Natural History Museum, London-formerly the British Museum (Natural History)-serves as a world-class repository of natural history collections; and

WHEREAS, these collections and systematic studies based upon them will continue to be of critical importance to such issues as habitat modification and the decrease in biodiversity; and

WHEREAS, the global scientific community has come to depend upon these collections as a key component of numerous ongoing and significant research projects; and

WHEREAS, The Natural History Museum, London, has been of well-documented importance to civilization, the history of biological studies, the intellectual process, and higher education; and

WHEREAS, The Natural History Museum, London, has helped to set the standards for museum-based participation in research in biological sciences;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Society of Mammalogists deplores the budgetary cuts mandated recently and is convinced that such cuts will have deleterious impact on worldwide research activities in the biological sciences, especially studies involving systematics, biodiversity, nomenclature, and other fields of mammalogy; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the Office of Arts and Libraries to reject the Museum's Corporate Plan for restructuring the Natural History Museum and for the Office and the Museum's Trustees to provide the relatively small additional funds needed for that institution to maintain the collections and staff over the short-term and to develop and implement a plan that will perpetuate the scientific excellence and the associated collections for future generations.