Museums and the State


I CORDIALLY welcome the suggestion in the leading article in NATURE of March 11 that the Natural History and other science museums should be placed under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. For this Department to take over the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Museum of Practical Geology (and the Geological Survey), and Kew Gardens there need be no change in its constitution. No Royal Commission need be invoked, for the Department would be merely undertaking duties for which it was formed, these institutions being the depositories of most of the basal collections, the facts, upon which much of science is founded. The administration of all could be carried out under one scheme since the work of all is akin, and the men required to recruit their staffs are drawn from the same class of university men, having similar early training, with diverse specialisations later on.

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GARDINER, J. Museums and the State. Nature 105, 101–102 (1920).

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