Thorsten Lumbsch is all business! I’ll admit, I do not know Thorsten too well but that’s only because of how busy he is! I feel as though every time I see him, he’s in between meetings or tours. But this gets back to the purpose of this project: for me to meet, learn about, and share the people that keep this building running!
1. What is your name? Thorsten Lumbsch
2. What is the formal title of your position in the museum? Associate Curator and Director Integrative Research Center
3. Based on your day-to-day activities, what do you feel should be your job title? Same as in 2
4. How long have you been in the museum? 11 years
5. What is your favorite object(s)? and Why? Coral lichen (Cladia ferdinandii) because it is beautiful and it reminds me of the great landscapes of New Zealand and southern Australia where I collected the species.
Talking with Thorsten about his favorite object was a really fun experience! His experience with this coral lichen really resonated with me. While this lichen is unique to Australia, it’s quite common there. He lichened ZINNGGGG itto the kangaroos of lichen. When he first saw the species for himself in ‘85, he got so excited while those with him scoffed it off as something not particularly interesting and all too common. It’s not really a strange concept but as I kept thinking about it, the idea that small things making up the uniqueness of places is peculiar the more you think about it. And we segued into the uniqueness of the large squirrels local to Chicago. Apparently they’re tiny in Germany.
So I’ve been thinking about Thorsten’s experience a lot, and about how much this happens to enthusiasts of anything… And I would like to reiterate the purpose of “These are a few of Our Favorite Things”. The museum fails to be one when there are no people left who care about the details. Care to explore, or learn. Care to remember and to teach. The Field Museum’s collections are unique, but only because we have the people who care enough to take care of it and expand upon it. Who get excited over the details missed by others. I want to know, meet and share the experiences and the people that make this museum more than objective. While science is objective, the reasons that keep it progressing is the subjective; the favorite things and the curiosities. You can define the objects in our collections but I doubt you can truly define the people that keep it running.
reposting… I posted this sort of late on Fri. and I have this feeling it sort of got buried underneath the rest of tumblr… So for the weekday crowd!