The National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) (UNAM) and the Carlos Slim Foundation inaugurated the National Biodiversity Pavilion, a space of learning, research and preservation, hosting collections of the UNAM’s Institute of Biology.
October 5, 2021, Mexico City

The inauguration of this new venue was attended by Dr. Enrique Graue Wiechers, Rector of the UNAM; Dr. Claudia Sheimbaum, Head of Mexico City Government, and Mr. Carlos Slim Helú, President of the Carlos Slim Foundation, who recognized efforts and commitment made by every person and institution contributing to materialize the National Biodiversity Pavilion, in the Maximum House of Studies.

Here, Eng. Carlos Slim stated that this space, “will nurture interest and passion for knowledge, science and technology among university students, their families and general visitors, we are expecting in this Pavilion for years to come.”

In turn, Dr. Enrique Graue Wiechers said that, “the imagination, financing and construction of this splendid space that we are inaugurating today, arose from the generosity of a UNAM graduated for the UNAM”.

“This Pavilion is a place to weigh the value of science in action, because by visiting a living laboratory, graduates will substantiate the application of Biology and its unmeasurable value for our society”, he expressed.

The event was also attended by Dr. Susana Magallón Puebla, Director of the UNAM Institute of Biology; Dr. Rafael Lira Saade, President of the UNAM Governing Board; Dr. Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá, President of the Board of Trustees; and Dr. Víctor Manuel Sánchez Cordero, former Director and Researcher of the Institute of Biology.

The National Biodiversity Pavilion is a three-story building hosting 12 exhibit halls, displayed over 3,800 square meters. There, people will learn about Nature, the evolution of the scientific thinking, the species diversity, and the biological, historical and climatic history of Mexico.

Visitors will also be able to observe actual laboratories, where UNAM scientists are working on different research projects.

The National Biodiversity Pavilion maintains four national biological collections gathering over 130,000 species, out of which 5,000 will be enjoyed by the public, classified as follows:

One of the main objectives of this new Pavilion is the dissemination of scientific knowledge developed around the biodiversity and biological richness of Mexico, therefore, it will have a genomic sequencing and molecular biology lab, to conduct studies determining the DNA sequences from different organisms, and compare them with others, thus establishing evolutive relations and processes.

One of the walls in the first floor is dedicated to the ideas of Dr. Mario Molina, the only Mexican scientist so far recognized with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies on the depletion of the ozone layer.

This place has also installed a Digital TELMEX-TELCEL Library, fully equipped, to promote knowledge and attitudes fostering the environmental care and conservation.

On the other hand, the “Animals” exhibition at the Soumaya Museum, shows how these creatures have been central art characters. Some masterpieces that visitors can enjoy and admire include sculptures by Salvador Dalí, together with folding screens and oleo paintings from the Flemish, Italian and French schools of the XVII and XVIII centuries.

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