renaming natural history

Renaming a Natural History Museum with Grace Maria Eberhardt

In the early 2020s, many conservation-related organizations seem to have accelerated their promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as reckoning with their racist origins. The University of Puget Sound recently made the decision to remove the name “Slater'' and give back the original name of their natural history museum. Furthermore called Puget Sound Museum of Natural History, the institution calls this out as “an important step in acknowledging the often problematic figures intertwined in natural history museums and ensuring our museum is an inclusive space for all.” My guest on this show, Grace Maria Eberhardt is a PhD student at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign studying the history of science and race. She led the movement to remove the name “Slater” from the Slater Museum of Natural History at the University of Puget Sound, where she earned her B.S. in Biology and African American Studies, and Bioethics emphasis in 2020. 

This episode contains discussion of sterilization, which includes involuntary or coerced removal of a person’s ability to reproduce; murder by police; selective breeding of humans for the improvement of human race; and, genocide.

Puget Sound Museum of Natural History website and @pugetsoundmuseum post about renaming

The History of Eugenics at Puget Sound and Beyond

Chang-Yoo, Albert. University tackles ugly history in Slater Museum renaming. University of Puget Sound’s The Trail. May 13, 2022

Hodder, Sam. “Reckoning with the League Founders’ Eugenics Past.” Save the Redwoods League Blog (2020) 

King 5 News. University of Puget Sound removes name of professor from on-campus museum. May 23, 2023

Miriti, Maria N., Ariel J. Rawson, and Becky Mansfield. "The history of natural history and race: Decolonizing human dimensions of ecology." Ecological Applications 33.1 (2023): e2748.

Wohlforth, Charles. "Conservation and eugenics." Orion Magazine (2010).

Yoon-Hendricks, Alexandra. University of Puget Sound to remove name of eugenics professor from museum. Seattle Times. May 19, 2023.

Music from the show TrackTribe & Dyalla