We often think of museums as places that collect the dust of the past, not the guide to the future. Kirk Johnson, director of the National Museum of Natural History, sees museums much differently. The current exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History called "Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code" aims to enhance our understanding of the full diversity of life on this planet.
The story of our planet, the deep time of the planet - which goes back 4.567 billion years - represents an incredible narrative about how we came to be and how our world works today, Johnson says.
Since our knowledge about what is happening to the planet right now is evolving rapidly, Johnson says that the concept of deep time "becomes surprisingly relevant to what I call the deep future. Many of the understandings of how we’ll deal with the next hundred years are embedded in the deep time of our planet’s history."