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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

Made with Samizdat,
based on PHPosxom,
based on Blosxom.

05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

Tue 08 May 2007

International Museum Day 2007: Raffles Museum events

Category : museums

Raffles Museum events

I: MR Bus Tours: Wed 23 May 2007
University Jaunts (Four tours)


  • Jurong East MRT Station
  • Chinese Heritage Centre (NTU),
  • Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (NUS),
  • NUS Museums (NUS).

Meet at Jurong East MRT station. It is a first-come, first-served registration.
The limit is 40 participants only per bus maximum.

Start times

  • 9.30am,
  • 10.30am,
  • 12.30pm,
  • 1.30pm.

Bus Tour reaches Raffles Museum at:

  1. 11.00am
  2. 12.00pm
  3. 2.00pm
  4. 3.00pm

The Raffles Museum Public Gallery Volunteer Guides will be conducting free guided tours for participants.

II: The M. I. A. Tour, Sat 26 May 2007
Visit three galleries at night! (Two tours)


  1. Dover MRT (EW22) Station
  2. Raffles Museum Biodiversity Research
  3. Kent Ridge Park
  4. Reflections at Bukit Chandu
  5. Memories at Old Ford Factory
  6. City Hall MRT

Email eileen_ng@nhb.gov.sg with the following information:

  1. Name:
  2. Handphone No:
  3. Email:

Registered participants will meet their guides at the bus stop at Dover MRT (EW22) station, opposite the Singapore Poly (closer to the taxi stands) at the far margin of the bus stop.

Tour times

  • 5.30pm-12.30am,
  • 6.30pm-1.30am.

Do come prepared! You should bring:

  • Walking shoes or sandals - stilettos might get stuck in the boardwalk slats :-)
  • Water
  • Snack (its a long tour!)
  • Foldable umbrella.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Taxi fare (midnight surcharge!) to return home!

Participants will be guided by the Raffles Museum Pasir Panjang Volunteer Guides and guides from the National Archives!

Last year's reviews:

  • "M.I.A. Trail." Yesterday, 27 May 2006.
  • "The M. I. A. trail." Raffles Museum News, 29 May 2006.
  • "IMD Regional Bus Tours: Heartlanders reach the museum!" Raffles Museum News, 01 Jun 2007
  • "when ... a docent started speaking it cheered up considerably." Raffles Museum News, 20 Jul 2006.

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Mon 07 May 2007

Raffles Museum Undergraduate Interns begin today!

Category : people

07 May 2007 - Ho Danliang and Ong Ruo Yu begin work at the Raffles Museum as interns shadowing N. Sivasothi.

Both are undergraduates have just completed their second-year studies in Life Sciences and will be assisting in several projects in education, conservation and research for the next two months during their term break.

And yes, they will be blogging about it.

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Fri 04 May 2007

Linnaeus 300 (03/30) - Acanthus ilicifolius L.

Category : linnaeus300

Linnaeus 300 - Raffles Museum News is bringing you 30 images of species described by Linnaeus in the month leading to his 300th birthday on 23rd May 2007.

Photo (3 of 30): Acanthus ilicifolius L., provided by Hugh Tan
Jeruju putih is a sea holly found in the Indo-West Pacific mangroves.
See "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore."

Linnean celebrations around the world

The Zoological Society of London, with the Linnean Society of London are holding a Discussion Meeting in "Celebration of the Tercentenary of the Birth of Carl Linnaeus," on 8th May 2007.

"Taxonomy, the description and naming of species, is fundamental to all biology. Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish physician and naturalist, introduced the method of binomial nomenclature using genus and species names on a world scale for animals in 1758 with the publication of Systema Naturae.

Zoological nomenclature is now administered with a comprehensive set of rules by the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).

Taxonomy increasingly relies on electronic forms of communication, and open access is essential for this information to be really useful.

Molecular data are vital in the field of phylogenetics, and molecular methods from nucleotides to amino acids, and the current Barcode of Life initiative - are set to increase in importance in other areas of taxonomy. Each year about 15,000-20,000 animals are named and described. To understand and sustain biodiversity it is essential that we know what species there are on Earth."

See the ZSL webpage.

Raffles Museum News: Linnaeus 300

Tech Tags:

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Thu 03 May 2007

International Museum Day 2007: 80 activities, 24 museums, 10 days

Category : museums

Posted at 3:08PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Wed 02 May 2007

Video released - Raffles Museum episode from Explore Singapore!

Category : education

28 Apr 2007 - Yesterday.sg featured the Raffles Museum episode from Explore Singapore! series that was first screened on 11 Jan 2007.

Explore Singapore! was produced by NHB in partnership with NLB and MDA ane the series is owned by NHB. This is the first time a television series has been released to YouTube so kudos are owed to the folk at NHB who ensured we get a taste of museums through these clips. Its a sign of more good things to come!

As these were not meant to be stand alone episodes, the plot line may interfere with the "tour." We were lucky in that the Raffles Museum episode jumps right in to stories from the Public Gallery almost immediately. The character played local comedian Moses Lim talks about the accidental visitors whose preserved bodies can be seen in the Public Gallery: the East Coast Black Marlin (1986) and the Legend of Bukit Merah and the Siglap Turtle (1883).

You can read more about the Black Marlin in the Raffles Museum Newsletter No. 4. In February 2005, Habitatnews featured Ivan Chew's drawings of the Legend of Bukit Merah.

As the episode progresses , we show the pair the Wallace flycatcher, not really an inspiring sight but a priceless relic of Alfred Russell Wallace that naturalists and scientists will appreciate. The bird on the stamp that they purportedly were investigating is the Yellow-bellied Prinia, which I featured in Habitatnews after the episode was first screened.

Posted at 8:37AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 26 Apr 2007

Linnaeus 300 (02/30) - Scatophagus argus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Category : linnaeus300

Linnaeus 300 - Raffles Museum News is bringing you 30 images of species described by Linnaeus in the month leading to his 300th birthday on 23rd May 2007.

Photo (2 of 30): Scatophagus argus (Linnaeus, 1766), provided by Tan Heok Hui.
Heok Hui and others collected the fish during research surveys
in Singapore waters off Kallang on 25 Aug 2005.

A catalogue of Linnaeus works

This can be downloaded from Linnaeus Link, a website hosted by the Natural History Museum, UK.

"The project has produced digital versions (PDF format) of: A catalogue of the works of Linnaeus ... preserved in the libraries of the British Museum (Bloomsbury) and the British Museum (Natural History) (South Kensington) [now the British Library and The Natural History Museum], second edition, 1933 by Basil H Soulsby, and An index to the authors (other than Linnaeus) mentioned in the Catalogue of the works of Linnaeus preserved in the libraries of the British Museum, second edition, 1933 (1936) by C Davies Sherborn.

Linnaeus Link is a collaboration between The Natural History Museum, the British Library, Danmarks Natur- og Laegevidenskabelige Bibliotek, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien, the Linnean Society of London, Stockholms universitetsbibliotek and Uppsala universitetsbibliotek.

Celebrations in Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, USA.

'Gustavus Adolphus College held its second Linnaeus Symposium on 25 Apr 2007. Symposium attendees engaged with well known ethnobotanists and Linnaean scholars and events included arboretum tours, formal public presentations, a garden dance, and a Swedish buffet. This year's symposium was called "Linnaeus @ 300" to correspond with the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist for whom the arboretum is named.'

The Linnaeus Arboretum was designed to represent the shape and ecosystem layout of the state of Minnesota. They have a blog!

Gustavus Adolphus College is the oldest Lutheran college in Minnesota, and was founded in 1862 by Swedish immigrants and named for Swedish King Gustav II Adolf. It has hosted the internationally recognised annual Nobel Conference since 1963.

About the sculpture - "Created by the late Paul T. Granlund, who was the Sculptor-in-Residence at Gustavus Adolphus College. The torso blends into the shape of a linden tree, and the wig includes impressions of the Linnaeus's beloved garden, the Linnaeus Botanical Gardens in Uppsala, Sweden."

Sources: Gustavus Adolphus College News and Arboretum.

Raffles Museum News: Linnaeus 300

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Tue 24 Apr 2007

Linnaeus 300 (01/30) - the count down to Linnaeus' 300th birthday begins!

Category : linnaeus300

Photo (1 of 30): Cancer longimanus L., 1758, provided by Tan Swee Hee.
Swee Hee has visited Uppsala to consult Linnaeus' specimens.

A universal scientific language

Some 15 years ago on a damp night in Lim Chu Kang mangroves, Singapore, I searched for crabs with mangrove biologist Professor Yukio Naksone from Okinawa, Japan. He did not speak much English at the time and I knew no Japanese. However, that night we were able to communicate - yelling across the mud to each other words in a foreign language that neither spoke. The names of all plants and animals were two parts, and were all in Latin - Episesarma versicolor, Selatium brocki, Metopograpsus latifrons, Rhizophora apiculata, Excoecaria agallocha and Acanthus ilicifolius, to name a few. We laughed with joy at how effectively we were able to communicate!

That universal system of naming and classifying plants and animals which allowed us to communicate so well was introduced by Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707 - 1778). This universal scientific language he provided is one of the reasons many taxonomists, biologists and scientists around the world are joining the Swedes in marking the 300th anniversary or tercentenary of his birthday.

Celebrating Linnaeus 300th birthday

In the month leading to his birthday on 23rd May 2007, Raffles Museum News will particpiate in this celebration by bringing you 30 images of species described by Linnaeus himself, one to mark each decade since his birth!

In each post, we will also include some information about Linnaeus and a link to news of celebrations in Sweden and around the world - be it conferences, seminars, festivals, photos, books, articles, photos, webpages, exhibitions and blogs of course! The images will be archived in the Habitatnews Flickr Album: Linnaeus 300 and the links will be listed in my del.icio.us "linnaeus300" tags.

Linnaeus 2007 - The Linnaeus celebration by the National Linnaeus Secretariat established at the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences is today's link. In "Reasons for Celebrating Carl Linnaeus", they write:

"Carl Linnaeus was born nearly 300 years ago in a small village in Smäland, Räshult. Celebrations of the tercentenary are currently being prepared throughout Sweden and in many places abroad. The Linnaeus Tercentenary will offer many exciting events - from scientific conferences to lectures for the general public, exhibitions, Linnaeus rambles in the countryside, and guided tours of the Linnaeus Sites in Smäland and Uppland.

The Linnaeus Tercentenary has two clear goals. The first goal is to increase interest for science among children and young people; the second goal is to present a full-faceted image of Carl Linnaeus for the general public. The tercentenary is centred on the concepts of Creativity - Curiosity - Science. These principles form the basis for all events and they have set their stamp on the preparations.

Celebrate this unique occasion with us!"

Posted at 7:24PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Tue 24 Apr 2007

Young un's teaching the even younger!

Category : education

18 Apr 2007 - Raffles Museum's first batch of Junior Gallery Guides began conducting guided tours at the Public Gallery this afternoon. These P4 and P5 student volunteers from Qifa Primary School were given four hours of training during the March holidays. Twenty guides were paired up and assigned a station each. Each pair had to work on a guiding script for their station and were given tips on crowd management, conduct in the gallery and guiding.

This afternoon, they put their preparations to the test by guiding a class of P3 students from their own school. Participants were divided into small groups of 5 and roved from station to station, listening to the stories that the guides were relating.

The guides were enthusiastic and had even prepared small tokens to be given away during the quiz time! As the enthusiastic voices of the guides filled the air, museum staff who passed kept telling others, "you gotta see this!" Indeed they are speaking like pros.

Each pair of guides told their story six to eight times on 18th April, and will look forward to sharing their stories even more when four more classes of P3s visit the museum over the next few weeks!

More photos here...

Posted at 2:13PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Mon 23 Apr 2007

ISBER 2007

Category : meetings

Posted at 8:20AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Fri 20 Apr 2007

Fri 20 Apr 2007: 4pm, NUS LT20 - Matthew Lim on UV/fluorescent signalling in jumping spiders

Category : bejc

Lecture Theater 20 is located in Block S3 (Raffles Museum is at Block S6). Click for a map to LT 20. Visitors, please park at Car Park 10. Note the revised parking charges.

Posted at 2:54AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

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