Quick post to make a shameless plug. I have long told others that my sin is envy. I’m not religious, but i think of sins more as character flaws than spiritual detriments. I could go into all the baggage that has been stirred up by this announcement, but who cares about that? This guy has less than two days to meet his goal so we better waste no time on me (again, who cares, so it would just be a waste anyway).
While i wish to start my own museum someday, right now we need to save the ones we have. Brian Switek over at Laelaps has a very depressing post on the plight of the New Jersey State Museum. Apparently the newly elected wanker (sorry, governor) has decided that the museum shall receive no more funding from the state and is instead relegating the museum to Rutgers University. Problem is, the university has been rather silent on whether it will adopt the responsibility of taking care of the museum (plus they have a hole in their pocket from the newly expanded football stadium). And apparently the governor’s leeches (sorry, lawyers) said that if the university doesn’t want to take over the museum, the collections will be sold off. People who know me know the sheer contempt i have for people who sell fossils. But selling off a museum’s collection (which contains far more than fossils)? That is utterly and totally asinine. I really cannot think of a worse thing to happen to a museum than to sell it’s collections. Museums have spent decades building up their collections. Each item is unique, with it’s own story to tell. It has it’s own history. And they are there in the collections so that future generations will have an opportunity to learn from them. As PZ Meyers said “Museums are not just superficial entertainments (although the creationists don’t get that) — they are storehouses of collected information, like a library that holds a more complex array of data than books and recordings. You don’t build them because you’ll get a benefit next week, but because it is a long-term investment in intellectual infrastructure.” So do what you can to support the New Jersey State Museum and all the other museums out there. They all tell the story of us and our world. They teach people, young and old, about the mysteries and wonders of our little blue planet. To see the sorry state of science education in this country makes me sick. The treatment of museums, one of the greatest tools of science education, makes me want to puke.