Since the 60s the Biodiversity Research Center at Academia Sinica has accumulated a huge amount of biological specimens, including the holotype of newly-discovered species in support of the discovery announcement. Starting in 1992, efforts to digitize the specimens initiated in the Biodiversity Research Center’s Herbarium and gave birth to a number of databases. As the Biodiversity Research Center joined the National Digital Archives Program in 2002, more databases and sites came to be constructed, giving a considerable scope to the digital resources relevant to the field. The digital archives not only facilitate the preservation and research advancement, but also pave the way for digital exhibitions unlike what conventional museum complex can offer. This proves to be an opportune advantage to the Biodiversity Research Center, which has been rather wanting in a stronger strategy for education and showcase.
Hence this project intends to use the Open Museum as a medium to create different exhibits on biodiversity insofar as the general public can be better informed on the findings and massive collections of Academia Sinica. The exhibits open up an alternative and fun way to approach to popular science and life sciences, raising the visibility of Academia Sinica’s findings and the awareness of the importance of biodiversity. The sense of educational dissemination is inscribed in the project, and the debut exhibit will be dedicated to themes revolving around a keyword: paper mulberry (broussonetia papyrifera). As the most commonly seen native tree of Taiwan, paper mulberry can generate a whole gamut of narratives including nomenclature for plants, biogeography, bio-anthropology, archeological anthropology, linguistics, human genetics and ethnology towards an understanding of the rise and migrations of the Austronesian people.