I have always dedicated and I am still spending an important part of my professional activity (and time, and life!) to the organisation of natural history museum itself. (and its collections) It is my deep conviction that a modern natural history museum is an important institution (in 21st Century too!) and that the activities that are done within it are extremely relevant to increase the public awareness and nature conservation. Exhibits and didactic activities done within the walls of a museum have usually a very strong effect on the mind and perception of the visitors (if they are well-done, of course!). For this I have always put my expertise, passion and competence at the service of the museum. I have also devoted much of my energies in the valorisation of the scientific collections that are the “heart” of a scientific museum. Without the scientific collections a museum is not really a museum, but it is something else, likely only a big container without a soul.
Unluckily enough, the situation in Italy in the last times is not encouraging at all. The natural history museums are not at the level of counterparts in other European national. We do not have (yet, and possibly we will never have it) a national museum. The small museums are often managed by local public administrations, mainly municipalities and regions, that are not articulated to manage a scientific institution. When managed by universities, the museums become simply exhibition rooms, and curators there are only seen as technicians. For this reason, the natural history museums in Italy are only and often locations where to expose things and where to put in scene political contractations.
Currently I am engaged in the concept and realisation of the p
ermanent exhibit section of the Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali. This permanent exhibit, informally named “Lotto XIV”, is aimed to introduce aspects of biodiversity and geodiversity undestanding and conservation. My contribution in this project is mainly addressed to the part regarding the zoology and evolutionary pathways. But, much important, is the concept and realisation of a Madagascar rainforest. Within this part information on the biodiversity and conservation of the Grand’Ile are depicted.