On December 12, 2014, in association with the publication of a Special Issue of Science on Avian Genomics, The Smithsonian celebrated the launch of the new Smithsonian Institute for Biodiversity Genomics (BioGenomics). Genomics is the branch of molecular biology that studies the complete set of genetic material that defines an organism. Essential information about how life works is contained in the genomes of each and every species on Earth.
With the launch of BioGenomics, the Smithsonian Institution will provide the high-profile, multi-disciplinary scholarship, leadership, collaborative spirit, and logistical support necessary to enhance our understanding of the natural world. Genomics will provide scientists with answers to important questions of biology and evolution, which in turn will help solve the problems that threaten our planet’s diversity of life. The excellence, vision, and global reach of the Smithsonian is represented by the collections and field-based initiatives of our museums and research centers which have long led influential biodiversity initiatives. Members of Biogenomics include the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the National Zoo, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and the Museum Conservation Institute.