NatSCA Conference & AGM 2018

NatSCA event
Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 09:00 to Friday, April 27, 2018 - 17:00

Organised by


Leeds City Museum

The museum ecosystem: exploring how different subject specialisms can work closer together

This conference aims to lead us outside our comfort zone and explore how working closely with different disciplines and departments can not only strengthen our own areas of expertise, but museums as a whole. The museum ecosystem is vast and not limited to just museums as it includes universities, local organisations, funding bodies, artists, communities and many other stakeholders.

The #NatSCA2018 conference theme is wide – two days of sharing and discussion about how we can ensure working together is better for all.

Conference Programme

Download the NatSCA 2018 Conference Programme here.

Thursday 26th April

8.45 – 9.30Registration and coffee
9.35 – 9.40Introduction & Housekeeping
9.40 – 9.45Welcome
First Session
9.45 – 10.05From China to Nottingham: The making of Dinosaurs of China
Adam Smith, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, & Wang QI, University of Nottingham
10.05 – 10.15Using theatre skills in a science exhibition: Dinosaurs of China in Nottingham
Martin Nunn, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries
10.15 – 10.35A Year of Coraling and Corralling
Emma-Louise Nicholls, The Horniman Museum and Gardens
10.35 – 10.55Driggsby the Fin Whale’s Museum ecosystem
Simon Jackson, Tullie House Museum
10.55 – 11.25Coffee Break and trade stands
Second Session
11.25 – 11.45Across the Continents: Communicating ecology to schools in Cambridge and South East Asia
Sara Steele, Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
11.45 – 12.05Growing a different type of standard
Saskia Harris & Yvette Harvey, Royal Horticultural Society
12.05 – 12.25Great British Mollusca Types: A Union Database for the UK
Jonathan Ablett, Andreia Salvador, Natural History Museum, Jennifer Gallichan, Anna Holmes, Graham Oliver, Ben Rowsan, James Turner, Harriet Wood, National Museum Wales
12.30 – 1.30Lunch and trade stands
Third Session
13.30 – 13.50The social media ecosystem
Jan Freedman, Plymouth Museum Archives Galleries
13.50 – 14.10Collaboration is key
Paolo Viscardi, National Museum of Ireland
14.10 – 14.50AGM
Reports on the running of NatSCA and elections to the Committee.
14.50 – 15.20Coffee Break and trade stands
Fourth Session
15.20 – 15.40Where Art and Science Meet: Lessons in scientific models and illustrations
David Gelsthrope, Manchester Museum & Donna Young, National Museums Liverpool
15.40 – 16.00 Big Gay Animals: An LGBTQ+ tour of a natural history collection
Mark Carnall, Oxford University Museum of Natural History
16.00 – 16.20Beavers to Weavers: Working with community groups and industrial history collections to build a natural history exhibition
Rebecca Machin & Chris Sharp, Leeds Museums and Galleries
16.20 – 16.40A nursery in Residence
Felicity Plent & Bronwen Richards, Cambridge University Botanic Garden
16.40 – 17.30Comfort break and look around Leeds Museum
17.30 – 19.00Drinks reception in Leeds Life on Earth Gallery

Friday 27th April

8.45 – 9.30Registration and coffee
9.30 – 9.35Welcome
First Session
9.35 – 9.55Cross-museum working: holy grail or unholy mess?
Stephanie West, Natural History Museum
9.55 – 10.15Crossing the Divide: zoology skills in an Anthropology collection
Rachel Jennings, Horniman Museum and Gardens
10.15 – 10.35Is everything natural history?
Jack Ashby, UCL Culture
10.35 – 11.05Coffee break and trade stands
Second Session
11.05 – 11.25How content experts and consultants work together
Luanne Meehitiya, Cultural Innovations & Jan Freedman, Plymouth Museums Archives Galleries
11.25 – 11.45Bridging the Gap: South West Area Natural Sciences (SWANS) Collections Project
Roz Bonnet, South West Museums Development
11.45 – 12.05Collections 2030: What’s next for museum collections?
Alistair Brown, Museums Association
12.05 – 13.05Lunch and trade stands
Third Session
13.05 – 13.20Moving the Cole Museum
Amanda Callaghan, Cole Museum of Zoology, university of Reading
13.20 – 13.40Rediscovering a botanical treasure trove: exploring the Cambridge University herbarium collections through interdisciplinary collaborations
Lauren Gardiner, Cambridge University Herbarium
13.40 – 14.00Realising the fundamental niche of a University Herbarium
Alastair Culham, University of Reading
14.00Summary and thank yous
14.30 – 15.30Store Tours at Leeds Discovery Centre (Bookable)
15.30 – 16.30Store Tours at Leeds Discovery Centre (Bookable)


Free 45 minute tours of Leeds Discovery Centre for CONFERENCE DELEGATES are available on Wednesday and Friday afternoons with natural science curators Clare Brown and Rebecca Machin. Numbers are limited so please reserve your place when booking your conference tickets.

The store’s address is Leeds Museum Discovery Centre, Carlisle Road, Leeds, LS10 1LB, 0113 3782100. It is a ~30 minute walk from Leeds City Museum. You can reach it on the 28, 28A and 70 buses ( and there is a free car park at the store.

Wednesday 25th April 2pm and 3pm and Friday 27th April 2.30pm and 3.30pm


Thursday 26th April 8pm. Fancy an Indian? Our annual meal and social will be at Hansa's - a vegetarian Gujarati restaurant with an excellent reputation. They will provide 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts for everyone to share and enjoy together, please have a look at their website for an idea of the dishes they serve. Special dietary requirements can be catered for but you must let us know when you book. £21.95 including tip, drinks to be purchased separately. BOOKING DEADLINE is 29th March.

Buy your tickets

Please purchase tickets for the conference and meal via Eventbrite. Your free tour tickets can also be reserved this way. If your institution is unable to pay this way or you would rather pay by cheque please download the paper booking form. Special arrangements can be made if you are struggling with payment from abroad - please contact

MEMBERS - please contact to claim your discount code. Institutional Members can claim discount for two of their volunteers or staff to attend. Not a member? Not to worry, you can still save money on conference tickets by becoming a member. Annual membership: students & unwaged £15, personal £20, institutional £40. Insert your code into the promotional code box before selecting tickets.

SPEAKERS - this year you can book online too! When your paper was accepted you were sent a code to release speaker tickets. If you are also a member please email for a different code to give you member discount and speaker tickets but please make it clear you are also a speaker. Insert your code into the promotional code box before selecting tickets.

Same excellent prices as last year:

  • One day cost: NatSCA members £60, non-member £80
  • Two day cost: NatSCA members £100, non-member £140
  • Speakers: The day you speak is free of charge. Additional days charged at above one day costs.

    What's the refund policy?

    Conference: You may cancel your place at the conference for a full refund until 13th of April 2018. Refunds will not be issued after this date.

    Meal: NatSCA is required to pay a deposit for the conference meal on March 30th. Refunds for the meal will not be issued after this date unless someone else can take your place.

    Please email for refund enquiries (don't use Eventbrite's refund system)

    Eventbrite - NatSCA Conference 2018 - The Museum Ecosystem