After a break of 17 months, the Biosphere reopened its doors on Friday with new exhibits and, above all, a new direction. This museum dedicated to the environment joins the large Espace pour la vie family, which already included the Botanical Garden, Insectarium, Biodome and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.
Environment Canada has been running the institution for the past twenty-five years. That decade was about to expire, and various levels of government began to think about their future in 2019, just before the pandemic. Connecting the biosphere to space for life had many advantages.
Isabelle Saint-Germain, the new director of the Biosphere, notes that “with its diverse museums, Espace pour la vie has extensive experience reaching out to the general public in Montreal”. “There is a lot of science content, research projects, and educational projects for a variety of audiences. The biosphere will benefit from this experience.”
The Biosphere thus adopted the idea of having teachers on site, in the exhibition halls, in order to enrich the visitor experience.
“They have backgrounds in science and education,” M . assertsI Saint Germain. It adds an extra richness to the museum’s programming. ”
Like the Space for Other Life Foundations, the mission of the Biosphere is to “bring people closer to nature”. But it also aims to stimulate action and citizen participation with a view to environmental transformation.
Other museums have live collections: people in contact with nature, animals and plants. The Environmental Museum will take a comprehensive view of environmental issues, climate, and the way humans behave in relation to the environment.
Isabelle Saint-Germain, Director of the Biosphere
Moreover, the politicians who participated in Thursday’s press conference marking the new beginning of the biosphere emphasized the importance of this museum while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just published its report on climate change.
“The IPCC report confirmed what we know: it’s accelerating,” said Pablo Rodriguez, leader of the Liberal government in the House of Commons. “Humanity is not doing enough.”
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante emphasized that the Biosphere mission is doubly important.
The various exhibits in the biosphere may be frustrating, but the opposite is true. A small exhibit on the wildlife habitat that stretches across the border between Canada and the United States, Unlimited species, illustrates the efforts of the two countries to protect different species, such as the peregrine falcon and the leatherback turtle.
The new Ecolab, a laboratory for emerging scientists, could very well spark scientific calls. Or at least a healthy curiosity.
“The lab allows young people to understand the scientific process,” explains Isabelle Saint-Germain. When we are young, we notice, we touch, we experience. Here, we are re-adopting the scientific approach regarding air quality and water quality, which affect us on a daily basis. ”
For example, young people (not young adults) can learn how research on microbeads led to the ban on beauty products in Canada.
National Geographic to the biosphere
Another new Biosphere Gallery is located outside the building. So we can like it without having to pay. It is a collection of 50 legendary images of National GeographicCollected on the topic of colors.
The Biosphere has preserved quite a few existing exhibits, including a series of 14 architectural proposals for major infrastructures in Montreal.
In summer, when weather permits, visitors can access the Belvedere located within the biosphere. They can admire Île Saint Helens, the Saint Lawrence River and the skyscrapers of Montreal, through the structure designed by American architect Richard Buckminster Fuller for Expo 67.
Mayor Blunt also quoted Mr. Fuller at a news conference.
It goes as follows: ‘Does humanity have a chance of sustainably surviving and succeeding on planet Earth, and if so, how? “The question is still relevant today, and the biosphere goes back to the central question posed by its creator.”
“Food trailblazer. Passionate troublemaker. Coffee fanatic. General analyst. Certified creator. Lifelong music expert. Alcohol specialist.”