Shuttered natural history museums fight for survival amid COVID-19 ‘heartbreak’

shuttered natural history museums fight for survival amid covid-19 ‘heartbreak’


Closed for the pandemic, the Field Museum of Natural History hosted a socially-distanced blood drive in its empty, cavernous halls.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

By Elizabeth PennisiMay. 28, 2020 , 8:55 PM

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center.

A few months ago, retirement was the furthest thing from David Thomas’s mind. “Then the world went upside down,” recalls the archaeologist from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In March, the coronavirus pandemic forced the museum to close its doors. No more school groups thronging the interactive exhibit on color, no more corporate dinners or lines of international tourists waiting to pay $23 a head to marvel at gems and fossils. The museum’s income plummeted 60%.

Leaders first asked for early retirements. By early May, they had sliced the staff of 1100 by 20% and furloughed an additional 250 staff. All other full-time employees now work 3 days a week, mostly from home. Thomas opted to retire early, along with four of the other 38 curators. “It was the right thing to do,” he says.

Around the world, natural history museums are shuttered and reeling. On Tuesday, the California Academy of Sciences announced it was furloughing or laying off 40% of its staff. “We …



Automation – Robots and Advanced Technology Has Streamlined Business Processes – EnterpriseTalk

automation – robots and advanced technology has streamlined business processes – enterprisetalk


Workers have started feeling comfortable around robots due to the ease of workflow. In the era of automation, robots at workplaces are nothing extraordinary, and more are on their way!
 B2B enterprises are increasingly switching to automation and upgrading their strategic plans involving robotic applications. Nearly 76% of workers at the newly automated enterprises confirmed that advanced technology had benefited them at work. The third annual national study by MindEdge/Skye Learning, titled “The Future of Work 2020: Preparing for Robot Colleagues” confirmed that too. In fact, about 32% of workers say artificial intelligence (AI), robot workers, and analytics have been implemented in their workplaces past year.
IT Leaders Driving Inside-Out Digital Transformation for Businesses
Simply put, it is just the beginning of the robotic era at work, and it will continue to rise in the coming years. This phenomenon has been termed as ‘Robomageddon’. With the worldwide crisis amid the COVID-19, more businesses are aiming for an automated workflow to keep their operations up and running. According to MindEdge/Skye Learning’s Director of Communications and Research, Frank Connolly, as stated to have said, “Continuing to advance and upskill human knowledge through continuous learning is a key tool to reinforce employee …


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Reconciliation Week: a time to reflect on strong Indigenous leadership and resilience in the face of a pandemic

reconciliation week: a time to reflect on strong indigenous leadership and resilience in the face of a pandemic


National Reconciliation Week is a time of reflection, talking and sharing of histories, cultures and achievements. It is a time to think about our relationships as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

This year’s theme is “In This Together”, a phrase that has taken on extra meaning as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

We have seen a range of measures to manage the spread of coronavirus in Australia, including movement restrictions, closures of government- and community-based services and border controls.

Governments have also put forward specific measures to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including travel restrictions into and out of remote communities under the Biosecurity Act.

Read more:
For First Nations people, coronavirus has meant fewer services, separated families and over-policing: new report

This “lock-down” has undoubtedly been essential and, to date, has prevented the pandemic from reaching remote communities. It has also been supported by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

But local Indigenous communities have also shown tremendous leadership in protecting their own peoples from the virus. And perhaps ironically, the federal government has shown a willingness to listen to and engage with the expertise of the Indigenous health sector.

One of the many …


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Good leadership, good outcomes on COVID-19 – how different countries have fared | Newshub

good leadership, good outcomes on covid-19 – how different countries have fared | newshub


Watch: Nine-in-ten New Zealanders backed the Government’s call to put the country into lockdown, the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll found. Credits: Video – Newshub; Images – Getty

By Christine Crudo Blackburn and Leslie Ruyle for The Conversation
OPINION: COVID-19 has put political leaders and health care systems worldwide to the test. Although lockdowns are the common approach, some countries have opted for less stringent measures.
As scientists and public policy experts, we have spent years analyzing how countries prepare and respond to pandemics. We believe this is certain: The policy and communication choices that national leaders make has a measurable impact on the effectiveness of pandemic response.
Some countries respond with science
In particular, Germany and New Zealand have handled the crisis effectively. Both countries have not wavered from a science-based approach and strong, centralised messaging.
Germany discovered its first cases on January 27. At the time, the country’s health minister considered COVID-19 a low threat; still, Charité University Hospital in Berlin began developing a test. Within a month, new test kits were available – and Germany’s labs had already stocked up.
By mid-March, the country had closed schools and retail businesses. Testing was swiftly rolled out, and within approximately two …


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Opinion | If We Had a Real Leader

opinion | if we had a real leader


This week I had a conversation that left a mark. It was with Mary Louise Kelly and E.J. Dionne on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and it was about how past presidents had handled moments of national mourning — Lincoln after Gettysburg, Reagan after the Challenger explosion and Obama after the Sandy Hook school shootings.The conversation left me wondering what America’s experience of the pandemic would be like if we had a real leader in the White House.If we had a real leader, he would have realized that tragedies like 100,000 Covid-19 deaths touch something deeper than politics: They touch our shared vulnerability and our profound and natural sympathy for one another.In such moments, a real leader steps outside of his political role and reveals himself uncloaked and humbled, as someone who can draw on his own pains and simply be present with others as one sufferer among a common sea of sufferers.If we had a real leader, she would speak of the dead not as a faceless mass but as individual persons, each seen in unique dignity. Such a leader would draw on the common sources of our civilization, the stores of wisdom that bring …


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Whitney Williams has wide range of leadership skills

whitney williams has wide range of leadership skills



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Diverse students display inventions at HBCU showcase

diverse students display inventions at hbcu showcase


Students present their talents as they pitch their innovations at the third annual HBCU Making & Innovation Showcase in Washington, D.C., in February 2020.PHOTO: MICHAEL J. COLELLA FOR AAASA social media platform for online education, a smart cane that warns visually impaired users of objects along their path, and a mobile app that connects customers to restaurants eager to distribute surplus food were just a few of the inventions that student innovators from historically black colleges and universities displayed at a recent showcase.The American Association for the Advancement of Science, with support from the National Science Foundation, hosted the third annual HBCU Making & Innovation Showcase in February 2020 in Washington, D.C. The event, held in conjunction with AAAS’s and NSF’s Emerging Researchers National Conference, brought together 80 students and faculty members from HBCUs for 2 days of interactive workshops and training on invention and entrepreneurship. The conference culminated with 18 teams of undergraduate and graduate students from 13 colleges and universities pitching their innovations.“Entrepreneurial thinking and an invention mindset are critical to address the challenges that affect communities around the world, and in our own backyards,” said Neela White, a project director in AAAS’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program. “As we look …


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Yale’s faith leaders bridge social distance to foster fellowship

yale’s faith leaders bridge social distance to foster fellowship


In March, during the early days of the campus shutdown, an undergraduate asked University Chaplain Sharon Kugler if the global coronavirus pandemic meant the end of the world was at hand.
“It’s the end of a world,” Kugler told the worried student, “and now we’re trying to create a new and better world.”
Answering the question as honestly as she could seemed to soothe the student, and also herself, the chaplain said.
“I think the most important thing in spiritual leadership — and any leadership for that matter — is to be as honest as is humanly possible and to not falsely use generic language of hope,” said Kugler. “We need to be authentic by holding and acknowledging the fears and uncertainties people have.”
In her role as chaplain, Kugler helped guide the transition of Yale’s nearly 25 campus ministries — representing Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and other religious traditions — as they adapted the way they related to their adherents, mainly by providing an enriching digital presence when it was no longer possible to congregate or worship in person.
In the 10 weeks since the shutdown, campus faith leaders have been providing one-on-one spiritual counseling and pastoral care; hosting virtual meditation, …


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