Wednesday, September 3, 2008

everyday operations

Well, I said I wanted to find out what the NERI scientists do every day but I didn't expect to be taken to an operation on polar bear specimens (these are their still partly frozen heads). The scientists are removing the bear brains to assess the contaminant levels. There is a visiting scientist from Michegan and NERI scientists as well as a research student from Australia observing the operation. These are bears which have died in the annual hunt in Greenland. This is not my area of research for this project - (although I am sure some artists would love it!) I am looking for connections between the digital and the bio-systems but it is good to have a full picture of the biological research the scientists do. This photo was taken in the bottom floor of the Natural History Museum in Copenhagen - then the skulls end up in the collection. If I was romanticising scientific work before I am definitely not now...

Abdi, the archive's curator moved easily between the gory scene below and the important storehouse of bones of arctic animals which dates back to the 17th century. Some of these porpoise bones were collected 400 years ago.

The engraving below ( c1670 ) depicts many items which are still in the Copenhagen museum. Many of the 19th century specimens were collected by Danish natural scientist P.W. Lund (1801-1880).

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