Science Topics

A unique collection of articles, videos, news, and more from the Museum about featured scientific topics.

Science Topics offer access to the Museum’s ongoing work in scientific research, exhibition, and education, with collections of unique digital resources on featured scientific topics that reflect the breadth and depth of the Museum’s mission.  With a rotating slate of frequently updated content on everything from conservation to astrophysics, Science Topics reveal the wonders of the natural world and bring the excitement of Museum science and scientists to audiences around the globe.   

Collection Color Our world is awash in color. It shapes evolution, evokes powerful emotions, and conveys vast amounts of information. Collection Bioluminescence Welcome to the world of bioluminescence: the generation of light by living things. Collection Climate Change Earth’s climate is naturally dynamic, but human activity is affecting it, evident in abundant data collected over time. Collection Cosmology Looking for the big picture? It doesn’t get any bigger than cosmology: the science of how the universe began and developed. Collection Darwin This 19th-century naturalist’s curiosity led him to a new understanding of the world around us. Collection Dinosaur Discoveries The 21st century is shaping up as a great time to be a paleontologist: here's the latest in our understanding of dinosaurs. Collection Disease and Eradication Learn how scientists track infectious diseases, and the worldwide efforts to eradicate them. Collection Food As shoppers and as eaters, we play a critical role in shaping what ends up on our plate and why. Collection Health and Our Microbiome Humans are just a speck in a massively bacterial world. Microbes make up 70 to 90 percent of all cells in our bodies. Collection Human Origins Groundbreaking research tackles questions about what it means to be human. Collection Moths and Butterflies Draw a butterfly. Build a butterfly. Learn about butterfly evolution, migration, and conservation. Collection Nature as Innovator Inspired by Earth’s biodiversity, scientists today are developing fascinating new technologies to solve tough problems. Collection Near-Earth Asteroids Rocky objects orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, but some come much closer to our planet. Collection The Pluto Question Far from the Sun, and smaller than Earth's Moon, Pluto remains one of the more mysterious bodies in the solar system. Collection Vietnam: Biological and Cultural Diversity From its tropical forests to its mountains and coral reefs, Vietnam is home to an amazing diversity of plants and animals. Collection Volcanoes How does heat escape from the churning engine that keeps our planet running? Through volcanoes. Collection Whales The awe-inspiring animals have long played a vital role in the lives of coastal peoples around the world. Collection Water and Life on Earth Water makes life as we know it possible. By using it more wisely, we'll ensure there's enough to sustain all living things.

Support for the development of Science Topics was generously provided by Sidney and Helaine Lerner, GRACE Communications Foundation.