AMNH Human Origins exhibit opening

Another museum-related AP story details the new "Hall of Human Origins" at the American Museum of Natural History:

"I think this is the first major exhibition in the world where the fossil evidence and the genomic science are brought together to tell a mutually reinforcing story," museum President Ellen Futter said at a media preview on Tuesday. "Bringing the two stories together is extraordinarily powerful."
The hall, covering more than 9,000 square feet, succeeds the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution and was a couple of years in the planning and installation. It features the casts of more than 200 fossils and artifacts as well as DNA evidence, a host of technology and interactive features and of course the dioramas for which the museum is well known.

I think the whole exhibit sounds really exciting. I like the genomics aspect, although I wonder how it is really described (not so easy to do for a walk-by exhibit). John Noble Wilford's review calls this part "not as visually compelling." I guess it's just harder -- museums are really good at the dinosaur skeletons, but DNA is not obviously visual, it takes some interpretation to make it more apparent.

Bear left in the hall, and there is the sign "DNA Tells Us About Human Origins." Below are three tubes containing particles of DNA in a milky white solution. The samples are not particularly impressive, until you think that this is the stuff of encoded information shaping an entire organism and the material that has transformed the study of genetics, or genomics, and revealed the place of humans in the rest of life.

Oh, those Spitzers:

The Hall of Human Origins occupies the galleries of its predecessor, the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution, which had its opening 12 years ago, before many of the advances in genomics and a number of major fossil discoveries. That exhibition closed in September 2005 to make way for its more up-to-date replacement, supported by a gift from the Spitzers, the parents of Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York.

If somebody goes to see it, please let me know how it is! I'll be happy to pass it on.