French Museum of Natural History
The French Museum of Natural History (MNHN - Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle) is one of the world’s major natural history institutions and contributes to the knowledge and conservation of biodiversity through research, higher education, training, and conservation of reference collections, as well as providing expertise to the French and European government for environmental policies. Its research topics cover biology, earth sciences and human sciences, and represent a research complex that enables multi-disciplinary research to be undertaken.
It has developed a strong set of skills and competences in citizen science, in particular through the production of a virtual herbaria, accessible through the web and where communities of amateurs are documenting the collections and contributing to enriching the database. It has also created and structured networks of nature amateur observers and correspondents, providing them with a rigorous protocol on the collection of data. At the interface of science and society this method ensures an excellent national coverage, and the production of a large amount of structured data, to allow a better understanding of how biodiversity is reacting to global change. Beyond this, citizen science are proving to be an excellent tool towards public awareness.