How do you get 8 million plant & fungi specimens online? British Science Week 2023 is all about connections, so we picked the brains of our Senior Curator Botanists to discover what goes into getting 8m specimens online to connect scientists with our collections 🌍🍁#BSW23🧵👇

Alison Moore, Clare Drinkell, Priscila Reis & Carmen Puglisi are the ultimate ball jugglers of our Digitisation Project. From repairing ancient plant specimens to swiftly dealing with pests & training new staff, this dream team ensure the project runs smoothly

What's the best part of being a Senior Curator Botanist? Carmen: “It's a great opportunity to systematically go through the entire collection & open folders that no one’s touched for decades. We find odd specimens and interesting photos & letters, and these make our day!

"...For example, recently I checked 2 specimens collected by Darwin; an adorable postcard-sized specimen of minute Irises from Sable Island, Canada; and my first-ever folder from Antarctica. I’m a tropical botanist so, to me, finding material from Antarctica is a big deal!"

What's a typical day like in your role? Clare: “Well, it’s quite a hands-on role & we often have new starters on Mondays, so I start by training them. Much time after this is spent tackling the Digitisers' queries, but this is a great way to get around & see everyone.”