(18 April 2015) The National University of Singapore (NUS) today launched the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM), Singapore’s first and only natural history museum. Its roots can be traced to the original Raffles Museum, which is the oldest such institution in the region. His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore and NUS Chancellor, graced the official opening of the museum, in the presence of over 250 guests.
Established through philanthropic gifts totalling S$56 million, LKCNHM strives to be a leader in Southeast Asian biodiversity and conservation research, education and outreach.
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “The opening of the iconic Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is of special significance to the NUS community, as we celebrate the University’s 110th Anniversary and Singapore’s 50th year of independence this year. This new, state-of-the-art museum and research centre will greatly boost NUS’ efforts in biodiversity education, research and conservation.
We are deeply grateful for the steadfast support from generous donors, faculty, staff, students, as well as friends here and overseas, for making this endeavour possible. All of you, together with my colleagues Professor Leo Tan and Professor Peter Ng, have given Singapore and NUS a truly world-class natural history museum we can all be proud of.”
Professor Leo Tan, Chair of LKCNHM’s Fundraising Committee and Director of Special Projects, Faculty of Science, said, “The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is a biodiversity museum, not only of Singapore but of Southeast Asia. It behooves us to demonstrate to future generations the beauty of our natural history and the vital role it plays in ensuring the survival of the human race. I am indebted to those who have generously helped both financially and in-kind, to make this museum a reality! But our journey must not end here – the opening should be the start to an even more important and exciting one to come! We will therefore continue to need the support of the community, including the corporate sector, to ensure the museum stays on a sustainable footing as it grows into new vistas.”
Helmed by Professor Peter Ng, the LKCNHM is staffed by 16 scientists, curators, museum officers, and collection staff as well as 18 outreach officers and administrative staff. The museum, which is a seven-storey building providing 8,500 square metres of space, is home to over 560,000 catalogued lots and over a million specimens from throughout the region, forming an important research resource for Southeast Asian biodiversity researchers.
Read the detailed press release here.