Being under the form of specimens, tissues or DNA samples, of stuffed organisms, dried herbaria plates or deep frozen plastic tubes, collections are of the utmost importance for taxonomists! They contain our basic reference material and our most precious source of study, second only to nature itself.
This view is, unfortunately, not always understood properly and we have heard of too many cases where irreplaceable treasures have simply been lost or destroyed out of ignorance. Nature is under pressure, species disappear, and in many cases collections are the only remaining link with some aspects of the history of life.
We must struggle and convince for the future of our collections, we must conserve them and we must expand them as much as possible.
DiSSCo is a new pan-European Research Infrastructure initiative of 21 European countries with a vision to position European natural science collections at the centre of data-driven scientific excellence and innovation in environmental research, climate change, food security, one health and the bioeconomy.
Michelle Price, chair of the CETAF, presented this initiative during the SSS-Day in Fribourg, on November 2017
Members of the CETAF, the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities, have committed to follow this Code of Conduct and wish to make this important tool available for all other institutions dealing with biological material that needs to be accessed.
Parasites mounted on microscope slides
Thaiichthys buddhabutrensis, Early Cretaceous fish fossil from Tailand
Biodiverstiy portal on collections in Switzerland