At the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (Nature Museum), we share values and responsibilities that represent the bedrock of our institution and are inextricably intertwined. At our core, we are guided by:
- Our mission drives our work. We maintain high standards of ethics and honesty in all aspects of our operations and conduct.
- We value and respect each other and all of our stakeholders’ diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, histories, and identities.
- We keep our commitments and hold ourselves accountable to our stakeholders, partners, and communities.
- We are a trustworthy source of information. The content we provide is accurate and reflects our current understanding of the subjects that we present.
- We work as active agents of change and aspire to a more equitable society in the present and future.
- We embrace and encourage diversity at all levels. Our pledge to cultivating diversity is perpetual and integrated into all aspects of our operations.
- We are committed to generating equitable and universal access to our resources through breaking down barriers.
- Our work does not move forward by just one person but through teamwork. The successes of the Nature Museum are built on the foundation of a collaborative, inclusive, and transparent organization.
- We value collaboration with others, including other organizations, community groups, and the scientific community.
- We are stewards of all that comprises the Nature Museum, including our collections, scientific and educational knowledge, and financial resources. We continue to cultivate our collections and knowledge, committed to their preservation and development.
- We aim to foster a universal sense of responsibility toward nature through working with partners and communities. Stewardship is a shared effort through which we can collectively create positive social and environmental impacts.
- We expect and strive for excellence in all aspects of our work and conduct, both in our individual practices and as a collective. We consider excellence as a an iterative process of improvement that involves moments of vulnerability and self critique.
Our work is interactive and affects a diverse array of stakeholders—including members, guests, Trustees, donors, volunteers, schools, and community-based organizations. We are responsible for acting according to our values, to the benefit of all people. We take our duties to each of these groups very seriously:
- The Institution
- We are charged with ensuring the short- and long-term health of the Nature Museum. Since our founding in 1857, our institutional goals continue to adapt to social and environmental changes.
- We are grateful for our various successes. We recognize our duty to use our collective knowledge to serve and effect positive change.
- We engage all of our stakeholders in the importance of scientific literacy, and reflect this through our research and programs. We ensure that science is, and remains, the foundation for all of our work.
- We recognize our role as stewards of irreplaceable natural and cultural heritage resources, and hold these items in the public trust for future generations.
- We recognize our role as stewards of the financial health of the institution and of the contributions of our donors.
- We have a responsibility to uphold professional, legal, and ethical standards in our operations and activities.
- Our Staff
- We acknowledge our responsibility to build a workplace culture rooted in equity, diversity, and inclusion, so as to inspire a sense of belonging among our staff members.
- We provide opportunities for personal and professional growth to all staff members, which we recognize and encourage.
- Our Community
- We act in the best interests of all our stakeholders and serve as stewards of the natural world and its biota, both for today and for future generations.
- We commit to creating and sharing resources in ways that are more equitable, inclusive, and accessible, based on collaborative practices that engage communities and stakeholders as peers and co-creators.
- We strive to increase diversity in scientific fields and inspire curiosity and inquiry among people of all ages.
- Our Region and Planet
- Our mission has never been more relevant, nor more important. In the face of a rapidly changing climate, we stand at a pivotal moment for the planet, as we confront environmental, social, and political crises. We shall always provide credible information and collaborate with our partners to serve as a conduit for best practices that can inspire positive action to improve future prospects for humanity and the planet.
For a downloadable version of the Nature Museum Values & Responsibilities Statement, click here.
Unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees on October 22, 2021