A review of the world's soil museums and exhibitions

The soil science community needs to communicate about soils and the use of soil information to various audiences, especially to the general public and public authorities. In this global review article, we synthesis information pertaining to museums solely dedicated to soils or which contain a permanent exhibition on soils. We identified 38 soil museums specifically dedicated to soils, 34 permanent soil exhibitions, and 32 collections about soils that are accessible by appointment. We evaluate the growth of the number of museums since the early 1900s, their geographical distribution, their contents, and their attendance. The number of museums has been continuously growing since the early 1900s. A noticeable increase was observed from 2015 to 2019. Europe (in a geographical sense), Eastern and South-East Asia have the highest concentration of soil museums and permanent exhibitions related to soils. Most of the museums' attendance ranged from 1000 to 10,000 visitors per year. Russia has the largest number of soil monoliths exhibited across the world's museums, whereas the ISRIC-World Soil Museum has the richest and the most diverse collection of soil monoliths. Museums, collections, and exhibitions of soil play an important role in educating the population about this finite natural resource that maintains life on the planet, and for this reason, they must be increasingly supported, extended, and protected. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

Richer-de-Forges A.C. 1 , Lowe D.J.2 , Minasny B. 3 , Adamo P.4 , Amato M.5, 6 , Ceddia M.B.7 , Dos Anjos L.H.C. , Chang S.X.9 , Chen S. 1 , Chen Z.-S.10 , Feller C.11 , García-Rodeja E.12 , Goulet R.-C.13 , Hseu Z.-Y.10 , Karklins A.14 , Kim H.S.15 , Leenaars J.G.B.16 , Levin M.J.17 , Liu X.-N.18 , Maejima Y.19 , Mantel S.16 , Martín Peinado F.J. , Martínez Garzón F.J. , Mataix-Solera J.21 , Nikodemus O.22 , Ortega C.23 , Ortiz-Bernad I.20 , Pedron F.A.24 , Pinheiro E.F.M.25 , Reintam E.26 , Roudier P.27 , Rozanov A.B.28 , Sánchez Espinosa J.A. , Savin I. 30 , Shalaby M.31 , Sujatha M.P.32 , Sulaeman Y.33 , Taghizadeh-Mehrjardi R.34, 35 , Tran T.M.36 , Valle M.Y.37 , Yang J.E.15 , Arrouays D. 1
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  • 1 INRAE US1106 InfoSol, Orléans, France
  • 2 School of Science, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
  • 3 Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, Eveleigh, NSW, Australia
  • 4 Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II—via Università 100, Napoli, Italy
  • 5 Fondazione MIdA—Contrada Muraglione, Pertosa, Italy
  • 6 Università degli Studi della Basilicata—viale dell'Ateneo Lucano, Potenza, Italy
  • 7 Laboratorio de Fisica do Solo e Mapeamento Digital, Departamento de Solos, Instituto de Agronomia, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropedica, Brazil
  • 8 Soils Department, Agronomy Institute, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropedica, Brazil
  • 9 Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • 10 Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University (NTU), Taipei, Taiwan
  • 11 IRD, UMR Eco&Sols, Ecologie Fonctionnelle & Biogéochimie des Sols & des Agroécosystèmes, (Montpellier SupAgro CIRAD - INRA - IRD), Montpellier, France
  • 12 Departamento de Edafoloxía e Química Agrícola, USC, Facultade de Bioloxía, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • 13 Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Musée de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation du Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 14 Institute of Soil and Plant Sciences, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Jelgava, Latvia
  • 15 Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, South Korea
  • 16 ISRIC—World Soil Information, Wageningen, Netherlands
  • 17 HJ Patterson 0223, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, United States
  • 18 Room 503 Soil Museum Building, Guangzhou, China
  • 19 Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 20 Faculty of Sciences, Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry Department (Departamento de Edafología y Química Agrícola), Granada, Spain
  • 21 GEA—Grupo de Edafología Ambiental—Environmental Soil Science Group, Departamento de Agroquímica y Medio Ambiente, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Alicante, Spain
  • 22 Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
  • 23 Muséum d'Orléans pour la Biodiversité et l'Environnement (MOBE), Orléans, France
  • 24 Departamento de Solos, Santa Maria, Brazil
  • 25 Brazilian Soil Museum, Department of Soil Science, Agronomy Faculty, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, Brazil
  • 26 Eesti Maaülikool (Estonian University of Life Sciences), Tartu, Estonia
  • 27 Manaaki Whenua—Landcare Research, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  • 28 Department of Soil Science, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • 29 GIT Laboratorio Nacional de Suelos, IGAC, Bogotá, Colombia
  • 30 V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Science Institute, RUDN University, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 31 Emirates Soil Museum, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • 32 Soil Science Department, KFRI, Peechi, India
  • 33 Jl. Tentara Pelajar, Bogor, Indonesia
  • 34 Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • 35 Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran
  • 36 Soils and Fertilizers Research Institute (SFRI), Hanoi, Viet Nam
  • 37 MTAyS-CENDOCA, Museo Tecnológico del Agua y del Suelo, Viedma, Argentina
Connectivity; Museums; Soil; Soil education; Soil monolith; Soil security; Visitation
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