Museums have several social and economic importance to individuals and the nation as a whole. Generally, museums have historically been centres of research, education, and public outreach.
Some of the roles that museums play in the society have been discussed below.
1. The botanical history and objects at the botanical museums furnish researchers with the relevant documents in knowing the presence of particular species of plants and animals at a particular place and time. This allows us to examine geographic and temporal changes in animal populations, species, and communities, and to track those patterns in relation to natural or human-induced changes in the environment such as climate change, landscape alteration, etc.
2. Museum specimens form the basis for research on evolution, speciation, and distribution, and also provide an important baseline for studies on conservation and emerging diseases.
3. The museum as an institution tells the story of man the world over and how humanity has survived in its environment over the years.
4. The museum houses the cultural soul of the nation. It holds the cultural wealth of the nation in trust for all generations and by its function and unique position, it has become the cultural conscience of the nation.
5. Museums enrich the educational process by exposing children and indeed the public to their history in a positive way. They assist our future generations to understand and appreciate their history and culture and take pride in the achievements of their forebears.
6. Museums are also centres for recreation and entertainment that helps in releasing tensions and stresses in people.
7. Museums improve the school curriculum by supplying it with the material culture that is used as teaching aids to improve teaching and learning activities in the classroom. For example, if children are learning about the Romans and they go to an exhibition full of armour and weapons dating from that period, they are more likely to find the lesson more interesting and want to learn more about it.
8. Museums promote unity and ensure peaceful relations among members of the society by using their resources to ensure understanding and appreciation for the various groups and cultures that exist in the society.