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Biodiversity – what on earth is it?

Biodiversity – what on earth is it?

This one word describes the variety of all living things – plants, animals and microbes – and all the places where they are found. This variety provides us with our needs – food, medicine, fuel, clean air and water. But it also brings us things we don't want – superbugs that are resistant to conventional antibiotics, invading alien plants and potential new killers like bird flu.

  • Is all biodiversity equally important, or is something that has occurred in nature inherently more valuable?
  • Should we worry about species extinctions, whether natural or our fault?
  • Or should we just worry about conserving and creating variation we can use?
  • Should we be able to create diversity for our own use, or is that unethical?
  • Do we understand enough about biodiversity – its challenges and opportunities?

Biodiversity – what on Earth is it? highlights contemporary biodiversity research, and demonstrates how understanding biodiversity can help us face today's challenges such as climate change and feeding a growing world population.

Organised in collaboration with the Natural Environment Research Council.

In 2010, BBSRC handed over this exhibition to the Martin Mere Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.