Brooklyn Botanic Garden has laid off all the scientific staff who managed its 330,000 specimen herbarium.
The BBG blames “increased insurance and employee-benefit expenses.” Researchers are wondering how they will be able to access the collection to continue important work into invasive plants threatening local species.
BBG President Scot Medbury says that the entire collection will be relocated. Where that will be is not yet clear, and local scientists are concerned as herbarium specimens are very delicate and must be protected from heat, humidity and insect damage.
The staff lay-offs follow after the opening of the BBG’s new and enlarged $100 million Visitor Center late last year. But what price science?