Scientific Collections International Organisation - SciColl
SciColl will be an international initiative devoted to increasing the benefits that object-based scientific collections and their associated information produce for science and society. It brings together major museums and science collections and proposes an international co-ordination mechanism that will enable the uptake of best practices, stimulate collaborations and identify and open new areas of research that rely on scientific collections. As such it will provide the same function as GBRCN proposes for Biological Resource Centres, however, on an overarching and broader scale. SciColl is an OECD Global Science Forum initiative and has formulated a strategy, drafted infrastructure, budget and outreach documents.
GBRCN was invited as an observer to the SciColl steering committee planning meeting in Berlin, 02-05 September 2009 to contribute to the finalisation of the documents and scope of SciColl in readiness for submission for funding. The scope of SciColl had been expanded from the content of museums to include living collections i.e. botanical gardens, zoos and BRCs. The steering committee were keen to incorporate the World Federation for Culture Collections and the Global Biological Resource Centre Network. A goal is to bring together all the data in the collections as a critical mass to mine and utilise, to provide input to work on the global challenges of climate change, food security and energy and help deliver the millennium goals.
The initiative commenced in 2006 within the OECD Global Science Forum, but at that time the scope was restricted to inanimate and dead collections. The scope has gradually been extended to cover living collections including the Millennium Seed Bank in the UK. There were meetings in Leiden, the Netherlands, in 2007, Washington in July 2008 and a steering committee meeting in March this year.