This volume brings together papers presented at “The Age of Plastic: Ingenuity + Responsibility,” a Smithsonian symposium hosted by the Museum Conservation Institute on June 7–8, 2012. The event was conceived as a cross-disciplinary
exploration of plastic as technological material, cultural phenomenon, preservation challenge, and force on the environment. Writers, scientists, conservators, historians, filmmakers, designers, and policy makers offer researched and first-hand accounts from life in the Plastic Age.
The neotropical lycaenid hairstreak genus Paraspiculatus is unusual because of a high frequency of sympatry in the upper Amazon Basin coupled with negligible interspecific variation of male genitalic structures and absence of male secondary sexual traits. Revision of the genus was feasible owing to a fivefold+ increase in the number of study specimens (by extensive use of rotting fish as a bait for males) and sequencing of the “barcode” part of the mitochondrial gene CO1 for almost all species. Nineteen Paraspiculatus species are recognized based on male wing patterns. All are described from Ecuador except for P. transvesta from Guatemala.
This most recent volume in the Artefacts series, Challenging Collections: Approaches to the Heritage of Recent Science and Technology, focuses on the question of collecting post–World War II scientific and technological heritage in museums, and the challenging issue of how such artifacts can be displayed and interpreted for diverse publics. In addition to examples of practice, editors Alison Boyle and Johannes-Geert Hagmann have invited prominent historians and curators to reflect on the nature of recent scientific and technological heritage, and to challenge the role of museum collections in the twenty-first century.