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Who We Are

Building on nearly two centuries of discovery, Smithsonian Science is on a journey to understand the science of nature and the nature of society—and to convey this knowledge to the world.

We study the great questions of our time, including how the oceans are changing, where we can begin to heal our forests, what capacity grasslands have to feed a growing world, and how the diversity of life on our planet is evolving. We learn from communities poisoned by pollution they did not create and seek to eradicate the environmental injustices that rip at the heart of life on a sustainable planet. And we examine the broader universe to better understand our place within it.

Throughout all that we do, we illuminate both the fragility and the future of life on Earth.

How We Do It

Smithsonian Science integrates science, art, history, and culture in order to build solutions that benefit all of humanity. Our museums, education, and research centers are united by shared strengths:

  • We bring history. Smithsonian has worked since 1846 to cultivate knowledge about life on Earth, and we use our unrivaled collections and data to help people understand the past and present so that they can shape the future.
  • We bring people. Smithsonian moves the global science community to greater emphasis on solving society’s greatest challenges through our workforce of nearly 1,000 scientists, including globally renowned experts across a multitude of foundational and applied disciplines.
  • We bring networks. Smithsonian shares science everywhere for everyone through our educational programs that inspire the scientists of tomorrow and our worldwide partnerships with science museums and research institutions that connect the global scientific community.
  • We bring places and spaces. Smithsonian inspires millions of hearts and minds to live more sustainably through the world’s largest and most visited museum, education, and research complex, our growing international presence, and our expanding online reach.

We recognize that one lens is never enough to understand the complex challenge of achieving sustainability on our planet. We don’t just look through microscopes, binoculars, and telescopes—we also bring together Traditional Ecological Knowledge, the lived experience of under-resourced communities, and other perspectives to create enduring solutions for life on a sustainable planet.