PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
6 JANUARY 1960 NUMBER 1
Botanical Education Program For The Society'
of North Carolina
Chairman, Committee on Education, Botanical Society of America
Botanical Society of America has been a pioneer in dealing with the educational
aspects of its discipline. Al-though the present Committee on Education was
not established until 1952, its predecessor committees and members of the
Society individually have been concerned with the problems of botanical education
at least since the turn of the century (Sinnott, E. W., Plant Science Bulletin
2(3) : 3-4, Oct. 1956), long before many scientists and most scientific societies
developed their present intense interest in the improvement of education in
Committee on Education has been reviewing the role it should play in view
of the extensive and highly subsidized studies and projects in biological
education now in progress. It believes it has a very important role to play
currently as the only nationally organized group primarily concerned with
botanical education. Using the term "education" in a broad sense, the Committee
has identified three areas of botanical education in which it believes the
Society and its members individually should be active: T. Formal botanical
education at the university, college, and secondary levels; 2. The botanical
education of the general public, with regard to both botanical information
and some understanding of the nature and significance of modern botany: and
3. The provision of information about the character and importance of botany
and the role it should play in higher education to our colleagues in other
disciplines, and to administrative officials, with an aim toward maintaining
and improving the status of botany in American colleges and universities.
each of these three areas the Committee has considered certain activities
and projects that it believes would con-tribute toward the improvement of
botanical education. Some of these can best be carried on by members of the
Society individually, while others would require organized action by the Committee
on Education or the Society as a whole. These proposals would probably require
some subsidy, but to a rather modest degree by present day standards. The
proposed activities are outlined below in the hope that individual activity
by members of the Society will be stimulated in the appropriate areas, and
that members will also provide the Committee with their opinions and suggestions
on the projects proposed for Committee or Society ac-
is not a formal report of the Committee on Education, but it summarizes points
of view resulting from the deliberations of the Committee. tion. In addition,
the Committee would be glad to receive proposals for other types of activity
in each of the three areas, and will be pleased to hear from any member who
would be interested in participating in any of the proposed projects if they
Formal Botanical Instruction
the large number of organized groups working toward the improvement of instruction
in the sciences, any real improvement depends in the final analysis on what
individual instructors are doing in their classrooms and lab-oratories. At
this local level many botanists are and have been much concerned with improved
classroom and laboratory procedures, more adequate testing programs, ways
of stimulating the interest of superior students in careers in botany, keeping
their courses up to date, selecting the most desirable course content, and
devising better curricula. Too few, however, have shared the results of their
efforts with colleagues elsewhere, and we recommend that many more do so by
contributing articles to Plant Science Bulletin and other suitable publications,
by presenting papers in the Teaching Section, and by cooperating with the
various national study and work groups as opportunities present them-selves.
way some individuals can aid their colleagues who are teaching introductory
courses in general botany, general biology, or high school biology is by writing
non-technical review articles covering recent developments in areas of botany
pertinent to such introductory courses. While the Scientific American, Endeavour,
Science, the Quarterly Review of Biology, Natural History, the American Scientist
and other journals publish a good many botanical reviews of about the right
level, numerous areas of botany (particularly the less active and glamorous
ones) included in introductory courses need up-to-date non-technical reviewing.
A related type of article, now almost non-existent, that is badly needed would
be concerned with botanical topics about which there is extensive misinformation
current in biology textbooks and elsewhere. High school biology teachers and
some of the zoologists who teach general biology and rely heavily on their
textbooks for botanical information are particularly in need of the help that
articles of this type could provide.
on page 2)
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
SYDNEY S. GREENFIELD, Editor
Rutgers—The State University
40 Rector Street, Newark 2, New Jersey
HARLAN P. BANKS Cornell University
NORMAN H. BOKE University of Oklahoma
ELSIE QUARTERMAN Vanderbilt University
ERICH STEINER University of Michigan
JANUARY, 1960 • VOLUME 6,
OF ADDRESS: Notify the Treasurer of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.,
Dr. A. J. Sharp, Department of Botany, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
for Libraries and persons not members of the Botanical Society are obtainable
at the rate of $2.00 a year. Send orders with checks payable to "Botanical
Society of America, Inc." to the Editor.
submitted for publication should be typewritten, double-spaced, and sent in
duplicate to the Editor.
the end of 1959, George S. Avery, Jr., Harriet B. Creighton, and Paul B. Sears
retired from the Editorial Board of Plant Science Bulletin. They had served
on the Board since this publication was founded. The Botanical Society of
America owes these members a debt of gratitude for their devotion and great
service to the Bulletin during the past five years. Three new members were
appointed to the Board as of January 1, 196o. They are Norman H. Boke, Elsie
Quarterman, and Erich Steiner.
Botanical Education Program
For the Society
from page I)
NSF institutes and conferences and the visiting scientists program operated
by the AIBS on a grant from NSF provide other media through which botanists
can re-view the current status of their specialties for biology teachers and
students at both the high school and college levels.
the projects that the Botanical Society might well consider are the following:
The production and free distribution to biology teachers in both high schools
and colleges of a series of instructional leaflets designed to aid in the
teaching of botany. These would be similar to the leaflets being prepared
by the newly-organized Committee on Education of the Society of American Bacteriologists,
and would probably include bibliographies, selected film lists, new or improved
experiments and demonstrations, sources of free or inexpensive materials and
of hard to find items, suggestions for preparing tests, and suggestions as
to the selection of botanical subject mat-ter for biology courses. A relatively
small grant should cover the cost of preparing, publishing and distributing
the leaflets, though to be most useful the project should be a continuing
Society might well sponsor more Botany Institutes such as those held at
Cornell the summers of 1956 and 1957 and at Indiana in 1959, and cooperate
with several universities in sponsoring NSF summer botany conferences
such as those held at the University of North Carolina and at Western
Michigan University the past summer. These institutes and conferences
have demonstrated the need of many teachers in the smaller colleges, as
well as high school teachers, for up-to-date botanical information.
botanists are aware that in many biology text-books, both at the high
school and college levels, the treatment of botany is inadequate both
in quality and quantity, poorly selected, frequently out of date, and
abounding with errors and misconceptions. Introductory botany texts may
also err along some of these lines, though generally to a lesser degree.
However, as far as we know, no one has ever made a thorough and systematic
survey and evaluation of current introductory textbooks with an aim toward
deter-mining the precise nature and frequency of the errors and inadequacies,
and on the basis of this information making recommendations for the improvement
of texts and perhaps also preparing a list of the better texts. A report
based on such a study should be valuable to authors and publishers as
well as to instructors. The report could have considerable influence,
not only in the improvement of new editions and texts, but also on the
more intelligent and cautious use of the present texts by instructors.
Another result might be more detailed and critical reviews of new books
as they an-pear, a procedure that could be implemented individually even
without the suggested comprehensive study.
Botanical Education of the General Public.
the general public is interested in plants and in learning more about them
is indicated by various types of evidence such as the popularity of the programs
of botanical gardens, the frequent questions directed toward botany professors,
and the fact that Who Knows and What lists far more specialists in the plant
sciences than in any other discipline. There are, however, many comon misconceptions
of the true nature of modern botany. Though similar situations exist in regard
to the other sciences it seems likely that botany has fared worse than most
of them. We botanists are largely to blame for this situation, for our lines
of communication with the general public have been quite meager. (See D. C.
Peattie, Amer. Jour. Bot. 43: 520-525, 1959.)
Scientific American has, of course, published a number of botanical articles
characteristic of the nature and scope of modern botany and Natural History
is now making an effort to improve its offerings along botanical lines, but
there is a need for more articles about plants in publications such as these
and more particularly in magazines of wider circulation such as Science Digest,
Reader's Digest, Saturday Evening Post, and Life. Magazines such as Harpers
and the Atlantic have occasionally published botanical articles and probably
would publish more if provided with quality manuscripts. Such publications
might also be receptive to well-written articles on the nature and role of
and biographical sketches of famous botanists. One or two profile sketches
of botanists in the New Yorker should not be out of the question.
need for more good popular books on plants and botany is even greater than
the need for more magazine articles, because most of the books now available
are either manuals or garden books. Any capable botanist with a flair for
popular writing can serve his science well by contributing magazine articles
and books directed toward the lay-man, and in addition he can expect some
degree of financial reward. Other channels of communication with the public
include radio, TV, public lectures, cooperation with re-porters and news services
wanting stories on research developments, and perhaps even syndicated newspaper
columns. Cooperation in these ways as the opportunities pre-sent themselves
can help considerably in bridging the gap between botanists and the public,
increasing the layman's understanding of plants and botany, and providing
a more favorable climate for our science.
Botanical Society of America might profitably con-tribute toward the botanical
education of the general public by arranging for a high level conference of
leading botanists and newspaper science editors and writers, magazine editors,
free-lance science writers, and perhaps editors of trade publishing houses,
publishers of paperback books, and radio and TV executives. Such a conference
might last a week or two and would perhaps best be held in or near New York
in cooperation with a major university. On the one hand, the botanists could
discuss the nature of modern botany, recent research developments in their
specialties, and the desired types of communication with the public. On the
other, the journalists could present the problems they face and outline the
types of materials they need and could use. Just one of the many specific
problems that might be considered would be the common practice of mis-identifying
botanists as chemists, agricultural experts, or other types of scientists
when items about their research appear in the press. 3. The Status of Botany
in Colleges and Universities.
results of a survey on the Status of Botany in American Colleges and Universities
were reported to the Society in 1952 by a special committee. The Society has
also sponsored a National Science Foundation supported Conference on the Role
of Botany in American Education (Plant Science Bulletin 4(3) : 1-3, May 1958).
The problems studied by these groups need to be reconsidered occasionally
in order to obtain up-to-date information on how the role and status of botany
may be changing, and how we may effectively advance botanical education.
the problems that need continuing study are the botanical content of general
biology courses and curricula; the role and status of botany and botanists
in biology departments and in botany departments; and the institutions where
there has been a tendency to give little or no emphasis to botany.
the extent that efforts to de-emphasize botany or the lack of interest in
adding it to the curriculum result from a lack of understanding of the nature
and significance of botany by administrators and our colleagues in other disciplines,
articles on the nature and role of botany in journals such as the AAUP Bulletin,
the Journal of Higher Education and School and Society might be quite helpful.
It is, of course, well known that a very effective means of securing increased
support and recognition for botany is the offering of sound, interesting,
up-to-date, well taught courses in bottany. Any improvements along these lines
should be shared with colleagues for the improvement of the status of our
science and for the benefit of our students.
current emphasis on improving education and the impending expansion of our
colleges and universities re-quire that we give increased attention to the
problems affecting botany and botanists in our institutions. It is clearly
our professional responsibility to try to see that botany and botanists play
their appropriate roles in this period of great change in American education.
Modern Botanists Forgotten the (Herbarium?
the herbarium tends to be neglected and its value not appreciated. Just as
a library represents the history of man's progress and his recorded thoughts
on various subjects, so the herbarium is a record of the recent history of
the vegetation of the world. While most herbaria have specialized in a local
area, they usually have sufficient general world collections to be of great
value in teaching botany, especially in the areas of ecology, economic botany,
plant geography, phylogeny and taxonomy.
of Man's Progress. In North America in the short time since the landing of
the Pilgrims the population has increased greatly and man has steadily migrated
across the continent. His livestock and his plows and other machinery have
so altered the vegetation that in some states, such as those in the corn and
wheat belts, only scattered fragments of the native flora exist today. Some
of these relics are along river banks, steep bluffs, roadsides, woodlots,
railroad rightsof-way, and some abandoned cemeteries. Where state herbaria
were established relatively early, a record of much of the early vegetation
may be preserved. The early explorers collected extensively, depositing specimens
in the U. S. National Herbarium, Philadelphia Academy of Science, at the Gray
Herbarium, or at the Missouri Botanical Garden. In many cases these herbaria
have the only specimens which prove a certain geographic area was once within
the range of distribution of a particular species.
current pressure of urbanization and its consequent demands for more lumber
have many effects on vegetation. Streets and houses eradicate every vestige
of native vegetation in one area, while the lumberman cuts away the forest
in another area. Man's need for more water has resulted in extensive conservation
projects on water resources with dams that cause inundating of extensive areas,
also eradicating the vegetation. Local botanists have sometimes made collections
in advance of the flooding of an area and preserved her-barium material as
a record for future use, but this practice has not occurred often enough.
In this sense herbaria will become increasingly important in the future since
they will, in many cases, have the only historical records available.
Material. While the herbarium cannot supply quantities of plant material for
extraction of drugs, it can and does act as a reference so that persons collecting
plant material for drugs can accurately identify the plants. Identification
of plants for people who hope they have a drug plant is quite common for most
curators of herbaria. It may be observed that many of the plants which are
unpalatable to livestock and considered as noxious weeds are not eaten because
of a bitter taste due to alkaloids or glucosides which may become valuable
at some future date. Pharmaceutical houses are sponsoring plant collectors
in various parts of the world currently.
Specimens. As botanists we profess to be plant scientists. Scientific work
requires precision. The variations in the responses of biological materials
constitute a rather large variable and render the work often more subjective
than we would like to believe it is. It is a basic tenet that species of plants
are morphologically, genetically and physiologically distinct entities, which
will respond differently to a given environment. Yet, how many botanists can
say they have been sufficiently scientific to have left a voucher specimen
in an herbarium to verify the species on which they did their experimental
work. It was not until 1935 that the plant taxonomists of the world finally
accepted the requirement of citing a type specimen (which is a voucher) at
the time a new species is described. This simply recognizes the fact that
words alone are not always adequate to verify the entity in nature which the
author intended to describe. It has only been within the last 15 years that
biosystematists have recognized the necessity of citing an herbarium voucher
specimen for the plants on which they were publishing chromosome counts. A
few anatomists and a few physiologists have in recent years cited herbarium
voucher specimens, recognizing that a portion of the actual plant on which
they did their work was itself the best identification available. The space
involved in a publication is no more than that of the word "publication,"
example (UMO-42,179) giving the official international designation of the
herbarium and the herbarium sheet number. We would not think of not practicing
extreme care with chemical experiments or statistical measurements. I am sure
most curators of herbaria would be happy to process a voucher sheet and give
their fellow botanists a voucher number. The herbarium offers storage of a
permanent voucher specimen for important botanical research material.
The herbarium is extremely helpful to those studying palynology. Most curators
take a dim view of removal of stamens and their pollen from a herbarium sheet
since there is quite often only a limted number of flowers. Specimens with
abundant flower material can be sampled without spoiling the specimen. A far
better practice is that of preserving vials of pollen from a fresh specimen
and de-positing a voucher specimen in the herbarium. In the past three years
I have made it a general practice, during field work, to preserve a vial of
pollen, while collecting, when-ever there were ample flowers present. Over
500 such vials are on file in the herbarium at the University of Missouri
and samples are available for exchange in the same manner as herbarium sheets;
each sample has a voucher specimen in the herbarium. The pollen samples in
the vials are pre-served in glacial acetic acid ready to be prepared by the
acetolysis process, described by Erdtman, p. 35 (An Introduction to Pollen
Plants. It is commonly possible to be able to step outside of the building
housing the herbarium and pick up the first conspicuous plant and find that
there is no record in the herbarium that the plant grows in the area. Taxonomists
have sometimes been referred to as purists be-cause they have often ignored
the cultivated plants. Gray's "Manual of Botany" and Munz's "A Flora of California"
recognize many plants which have been introduced and which reproduce in the
areas covered by these Manuals. I believe that all of the plants which will
grow in an area are a part of the flora and deserve recognition. Most of the
cultivated plants are simply transplanted species, native to an-other part
of the world. The fact that they will survive in their new location gives
data on the ecological range of tolerance of the species, which should not
be ignored. The fact that taxonomists have practiced partial recognition of
plants of an area has been at least partly responsible for the split between
horticultural and taxonomic interests. While the collection and preservation
of cultivated specimens alone will not solve problems, at least the material
would be avail-able for study at various stages of seasonal development by
any worker. I believe it is the responsibility of the herbarium to have such
voucher specimens for the cultivated material of its area.
for Seeds and Twigs
R. D. Gibbs, McGill University, Montreal 2, Quebec, Canada, would be glad
to receive seeds and/or freshly cut twigs of the following plants :
Juliania, Ort/aopterygium, Planera, Ampelo-
Engelhardtia, and Garrya (other than G. elliptic-a).
the specimens are wrapped in pliofilm and marked "Biological Specimens, of
no Commercial Value, to be used only for Chemical Analyses" and sent by air
they will come quickly through customs. Professor Gibbs will, of course, be
glad to refund postage.
Botany and the High Schools
University of Massachusetts
did not take a Sputnick to drive botanists to a soul-searching review of their
own botanical teaching program. A number of articles have appeared in this
publication over the last few years on the subject, examining the position
of botany in the college curriculum and discussing the course content at the
elementary level in both the college and high school. It is the effect of
the high school program on college students as well as the effect of college
training in botany on the high school program that ought to be re-examined.
During the last few years we have found the number of botany majors at the
University of Massachusetts increasing slightly with good prospects for further
increases, while the characteristics of the group are changing considerably.
An increasing number of majors, many of them women, are choosing this field
with the anticipation of teaching biology in high school. Some of these are
students with a desire and ability to go beyond high school teaching into
college and university teaching and research, but who approach college without
the self assurance to propose such a goal even to themselves. Challenging
in the classroom, they offer the satisfaction that comes from training students
from whom one may expect obvious and measurable accomplishments in the future.
As their sense of accomplishment grows they raise their sights toward advanced
degrees. But what of the others? Though personable, intelligent people who
will function effectively in high schools, they come to botany for a "watered-down"
training. The circumstances demand, and I believe fortunately so, that they
take more work in allied fields. Regrettably, much of this is only at an elementary
level, but that does not appear as serious as the burden of the education
courses which they must carry. As a result of these extra demands the group
as a whole frequently appears less rewarding to the botanist. However, they
will provide the only contact that many individuals will have with classroom
botany, and though we hardly expect physics to be judged by the local physics
teacher, their importance in "representing" botany to the general public is
very great. Moreover, their influence on students preparing for college is
often the deciding factor in directing this group toward or away from subsequent
botanical course work. As we are very well aware they also are the ones who
begin the training of the students we will eventually face in our elementary
college classes. The extent to which we can raise this level of elementary
instruction is determined in part by the success of the high school course.
We have found, for example, that advanced placement in botany is almost impassible
at the University because of the deficiencies in pre-college training in this
the present time we are studying various ways of approaching this group of
prospective teachers. Our ideas have developed along two lines: (I) the introduction
of a special senior year course which would integrate work from various areas
of botany with emphasis on the role each should play in the high school program,
and with discussion of ways of presenting this material and (2) the selection
of special advisers for this kind of major, the advisor to supervise the course
program and also to discuss problems of high school presentation and help
to organize prospective course material. Both of these suggestions admit that
the student requires some assistance in preparing material; that the training
he receives in botany courses will not prepare him directly for high school
teaching. The most capable student may not need this assistance. The observation
of the mistakes and successes achieved by his college professors is a great
help in preparing for high school teaching, but usually the student able to
assimilate these points is the one who leaves the teaching program before
graduation. The two proposals are only slightly different: the first introduces
a course in techniques into the college program in botany; the second leaves
this responsibility to an advisor. So long as the advisor receives credit
for this added work the second approach is possible, but it does give him
little control over the student, who places such non-credit work last on a
long list of responsibilities. Adding one more course in techniques means
deleting one more college course. There is an apparent solution. It consists
of substituting such training supervised by a botanist for some of the education
courses now offered. The professional botanist has a great stake in improving
high school teaching of botany; to do this requires an acceptance of the responsibility
to super-vise (in some form) the training of such teachers. Insofar as this
brings us into conflict with the education course pro-gram, it cannot be done
by one department or by one institution. It is going to require a concerted
attack on the high school teacher training program by botanists nation-ally,
with the aid of other scientists.
is another aspect of this same problem. The present in-service institutes
and summer programs for high school teachers of biology have unquestionably
done some excellent things. Yet all too frequently one of their effects has
been to produce a feeling of frustration in both students and instructors.
These various programs must be integrated with an undergraduate teaching program.
To do this effectively we need an intensive re-evaluation of the aims of high
school botany. We must in time work out a sound program for the college student
training for high school, for whom the post-college refresher training will
be a planned step. I would like to suggest a few aims for such a high school
High school botany, as a part of biology, must be presented with enough emphasis
on recent experimental advances to make the student realize that it is very
much an experimental science, and one with an important role in the future.
Purely descriptive work, or an essentially horticultural approach, will not
direct superior students to this area at the college level.
aspects of botany should and can be taught so completely in high school
that they will require much less time at the college level. This will
add time to the college program for an expansion of material which high
schools are unable to present either because of its complexity or the
lack of adequate facilities. The college course can then emphasize experimentation
without depriving the student of more classical training. Specifically,
much of the anatomical material now covered in most elementary college
courses could be handled very adequately in high school. In doing this,
emphasis should be placed on (I) form in relation to function and (2)
evolutionary changes. It is certainly regrettable that so little is done
with plant anatomy from this point of view when it has played such an
important role in evolutionary studies.
such as taxonomy should be treated in relation to their modern importance,
as for example in the highly exciting exploration for drug plants.
own experience and the example being set in recent years by mathematicians
has shown the importance of training teachers for high school. We must get
in at the ground floor also, or we will find an ever increasing number of
good students being directed away from botanical study be-fore they have had
contact with it. Many of the problems in the training program are complex
and not easy to solve. But since the botanical training of high school teachers
has far reaching effects on the future status of botany, this is an area that
urgently requires the widespread attention of botanists.
Andrews, Dean of the School of Botany at Washington University, St. Louis,
has been granted a Fulbright teaching fellowship for a year at the University
of Poona, India. Dr. Andrews will leave late in May for Poona, where he will
teach a course in paleobotany and give lectures on other topics. He plans
to return the following spring by way of Jimma, Ethiopia, where he will inspect
an agricultural research program directed by Hugh Rouk, a graduate student
completing requirements for a doctorate degree.
W. Galston of Yale University has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for
study in Australia next year.
new laboratory for electron microscopy is being developed in the Plant Research
Institute, University of Texas, under the leadership of W. Gordon Whaley.
The equipment includes an RCA-EMU-2 microscope which is being transferred
from the Bureau of Engineering Research and a new RCA-EMU-3 micro-scope together
with the necessary basic equipment for the pursuit of electron microscopy
in the biological and physical sciences.
Cornell University, L. F. Randolph has been elected President of the American
Iris Society. George Barker, Physiologist of the United Fruit Company formerly
stationed in Honduras, is on leave from the Company to work during 1959-6o
on the vegetative growth and development of the banana. He will return to
the Company at the end of his stay at Cornell. Dr. Edith Robinson, lecturer
in Plant Physiology at the University of Leeds, England, is spending this
year working with
C. Steward on the biochemistry of growth. Dr. Henri Duranton of the Institut
National Agronomique in Paris is also working this year with Dr. Steward on
problems of nitrogen metabolism.
the State University of Iowa, the Department of Botany has been awarded a
$ro,000 grant from the Atomic Energy Commission to purchase equipment for
courses of study introducing the use and measurement of radioisotopes in plants,
and life in general. Robert F. Thorne, now in Australia on a Fulbright Fellowship,
has recently been awarded a National Science Foundation Senior Post-doctoral
Fellowship. George G. Zabka has also been awarded a grant from the National
Science foundation for work over a three-year period.
W. Whitaker, Director of the U. S. Horticultural Field Station, La Jolla,
California, is currently on a Guggenheim Fellowship, writing a book on the
Cucurbitaceae. He recently spent several months at Davis, California, conferring
with co-author Glen Davis, and using library facilities at the University
of California. Dr. Whitaker also conferred with scientists at the Missouri
1otanical Garden and other institutions in the Midwest where he presented
invitation papers on Cucurbita genetics. Dr. Guy Weston Bohn was Acting Director
during Dr. Whitakers' absence.
University of Tennessee held a series of lectures in December, mainly on aspects
of evolution. The speakers were Norman G. Anderson of Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
C. H. Waddington of Edinburgh, G. Ledyard Stebbins of California, J. N. Spuhler
of Michigan, and Th. Dobzhansky of Columbia University.
W. Knobloch has recently transferred from the Department of Natural Sciences
to the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University.
Biology Department of Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia has recently
acquired a I040-acre natural history reservation. Located in the Flint Hills
of east-central Kansas, the F. B. and Rena G. Ross Natural History Reservation
consists primarily of bluestem prairie. It is the only known prairie reservation
of its kind. Under the direction of C. F. Gladfelter and Emily L. Hartman,
the area will serve a threefold purpose in the department's teacher preparation
program, in basic re-search, and in the preservation of a natural biotic unit.
extensive exhibit on the "Ecology of the Redwoods" will be on display at the
New York Botanical Garden Museum and Administration Building, January 15-March
15, 196o. The exhibit will include material collected in California, photographs,
models and murals of the big trees, as well as many other items related to
this theme. The exhibit will illustrate the value and need for preserving
not only the redwood trees themselves, but the plants, birds, animals, and
other organisms that make up the redwoods environment.
from the Department of Botany of the University of
Rowley was appointed as Assistant Professor of Botany in September 1959 to
present undergraduate and graduate studies in developmental cytology. His
present interest is in the formation and development of the pollen grain wall.
He came from the University of Minnesota after a year as a guest, on a National
Science Foundation Grant, in Professor A. Frey-Wyssling's department of general
botany and Professor Miihlethaler"s electron microscope laboratory at the
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.
Robert B. Livingston will be on leave in the spring semester and will spend
part of his leave at Duke University on his research on soil moisture studies
and will visit the Ecology Section at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies.
Wilce, Assistant Professor of Botany, came to the department in September,
1959, after 15 months of extensive research on the taxonomy, morphology and
ecology of the arctic marine flora. He brings to the department many years
of re-search experience which will be translated into the undergraduate and
graduate research studies in phycology. Dr. Wilce attained a complete acquaintance
with the literature and the European herbarium material on arctic marine flora
in the course of his doctorate studies at the University of Michigan under
the direction of Dr. William Randolph Taylor.
S. Van Fleet, Head of the Department of Botany at the University of Massachusetts,
came to the department in July, 1959, from the Chairmanship of the Department
of Botany at the University of Toronto.
PRIZE IN PHYCOLOGY
FOR 1960 NOMINATIONS WANTED
Committee on the Darbaker Prize of the Botanical Society of America will accept
nominations for an award to be announced at the annual meeting of the Society
at Stillwater Oklahoma in 196o. Under the terms of the bequest, the award
is to be made for meritorius work in the study of the algae. Persons not members
of the Botanical Society are eligible for the award. The Committee will base
its judgment primarily on the papers published by the nominee during the last
two full calendar years previous to the closing date for nominations. At present,
the award will be limited to residents of North America. Only papers published
in the English language will be considered. Nominations for the 196o award
accompanied by a statement of the merits of the case and by reprints of the
publications supporting the candidacy should be sent to the Chairman of the
Committee in order to be received by June 1, 196o. The value of the Prize
for 196o will depend on the income from the trust fund but is expected to
be about $250.00. The Chairman of the Committee is Dr. Richard C. Starr, Department
of Botany, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Other members of the
Committee are Robert W. Krauss of the University of Maryland, George F. Papenfuss
of the University of California at Berkeley, Paul C. Silva of the University
of Illinois, and Jack E. Myers of the University of Texas.
Greulach's mention of errors in textbooks and the announcement of the Darbaker
contest remind us of one of our pet peeves, the classification of Volvox as
a protozoan in many biology textbooks. Although the authors of such books
frequently explain that typical green plant or holophytic nutrition involves
the possession of chlorophyll and carrying on photosynthesis, etc., whereas
holozoic or typical animal nutrition involves the ingestion of solid food,
etc., they seem to forget this when they come to write the later chapters
containing Volvox. They classify Volvox as a protozoan with some statement
to the effect that it has "animal-like traits", but they neglect to tell us
what these traits are.
have long tried to find out how this situation came about, and perhaps the
best explanation was supplied by a zoologist of our acquaintance. He says
that in the days when the recapitulation theory was very fashionable, the
zoologists needed a hollow ball organism to represent the blastula stage,
i.e., zygote (uncellular) to blastula, to gastrula (Hydra). Having no such
animal, they adopted Volvox, and of course, took along Chlamydomonas, Gonium,
Pleodorina and their relatives. After this it was easy to appropriate other
have made no statistical study, but it seems to us that this type of error
occurs more frequently in those texts which strongly claim to be more scientific,
more integrated, more homogenized and more "principled" than any other.
invite our phycological members to come to the defense of the algae, and we
promise to try to establish some special prize for the one who can rescue
Volvox from the Protozoa.
American Association of University Women offers a series of fellowships, one
at $5000., 4 at $4000., 10 at $3000., and 25 from $2000. to $2500. These are
open to women of the U. S. A. who hold the doctorate or who have fulfilled
all the requirements for the doctorate, except the dissertation, by the time
the fellowship year begins, or who have attained professional recognition.
There are no restrictions as to age or field, and the fellowships may be used
abroad or in the U. S. A. Application forms may be obtained August 1, 196o.
For information about these fellowships and grants offered to women of other
countries write to: Fellowships Office, AAUW Education Foundation, 2401 Virginia
Avenue, N.W., Washington 7, D. C.
Boysen Jensen of Copenhagen, one of our Corresponding Members, died on November
21, 1959, at the age of nearly i7 years. He was horn on January 18, 1883.
He is known internationally for his studies on plant growth sub-stances, photosynthetic
production of dry matter, and for his work during later years, and up till
a few days before his death, on differentiation and the mode and site of de-position
of wall materials in plant cells.
W. Evans, Eaton Professor Emeritus of Bot• any at Yale University, died
on December 6, 1959, at the age of 91. A former chairman of the Botany Department
at Yale, he was one of the fifty awarded certificates of merit at the Fiftieth
Anniversary Meeting of the Society in 1956. He was cited as "the honored master
of hepaticology" and for his contributions to understanding the genus Cladonia.
Hat Shall I Wear?
Ohio Wesleyan University
in our modern, complex society is be-coming an acute problem, according to
our colleagues in sociology. Perhaps concern for identity is merely a product
of bureaucratic thinking, with its passion for job title and job definition.
Several members of the Botanical Society seem to think otherwise, however,
for they have shown serious concern about our professional label. The subject
is important because it is thought to be partially responsible for botanists'
less-than-satisfactory public image and, there-fore, for our seeming lack
of broad public support.
one of us in the Botanical Society can wear at least five professional name
cards: professor or research worker, scientist, biologist, botanist, and morphologist
or physiologist or whatever. At various times we are called upon to wear the
appropriate card and stand up to he counted. The label we wear when on public
exhibition is largely conditioned by the circumstances surrounding that exhibition.
The problem of identification resolves itself into one of priority—what
label is most appropriate?
cogent argument for describing ourselves primarily as "biologists" has been
advanced by Glass (1957). He says that the first responsibility of each biologist
is to be a biologist, a specialist afterwards. An equally compelling argument
by Creighton (1957) advocates that we should first of all consider ourselves
as "botanists." Steere (1957 con-curs with Glass in preferring the label "biologist,"
but he is willing to compromise on "plant scientist." Turrill (1959) deplores
the use of "biology," pointing out that the term has come to be synonymous
with ecology; thus, the "biology of flowering plants." He goes on to suggest
that in application zoology is allowed to predominate greatly in the treatment
of biology. Stakman (1959) seems to agree with Turrill for, although he frequently
refers to biology, he states that biology is almost incapable of precise definition.
brief review is by no means inclusive, but it is probably representative of
opinion on the subject of our professional identity. The disadvantage of the
name "botanist" seems to be that it evokes that old stereotype, the vasculumcarrying
plant collector busily attaching horrid names to otherwise beautiful flowers.
The disadvantage of the name "biologist" seems to be that it signifies too
much and too little. It would be appropriate for both biophysicists and butterfly
collectors. Moreover, many of us would agree with Turrill that in practice
zoological materials far outweigh botanical ones when biology departments
or biology courses prevail. At the other extreme, certainly it is too much
to expect of the public that they correctly differentiate between phycologist
and mycologist, and then to know that both kinds of specialists study plants.
the strictly pragmatic standpoint, botany seems preferable to biology. Undergraduate
biology departments, in many instances, are notorious for the few botany students
they produce. Despite logical arguments to the contrary, departmental segregation
is evidently the most satisfactory arrangement. The burden of the conveying
the scope of botanical work to students and the public at large then rests
where it should: on the shoulders of botanists. The old stereotype will die
in time as the public learns more about modern botany. It is up to us as members
of the Botanical Society to convey to the layman something of the enthusiasm
we have for plants. If we succeed, the problem of poor public relations will
become considerably less in magnitude.
second rank priority ought to go to "university professor." Educators frequently
discuss the unfortunate results of compartmentalization and specialization
in the Nation's colleges. There are several organizations that would welcome
our support in helping to solve the problems of mutual concern of all university
personnel. Botanists have taken less interest than they ought in such organizations
as the American Association of University Professors, and others.
sequence of priority after these labels is of small importance since the public
is frequently not interested in such details. The treasurers of our various
special societies will not let us forget our obligations to them. The necessity
for using the specialist's label occurs only once or twice a year. Our obligation
to botany and our institution continues throughout the year.
Harriet, 1957. Botanists of the world, unite—and get going. Plant Science
Bull. 3: 1-4.
Bentley, 1957. The responsibilities of biologists. A.I.B.S. Bull. 7: 9-13.
E. C. 1959. The role of plant pathology in the scientific and social development
of the world. Plant Pathology, Problems and Progress 1908-1958. Univ. of Wisconsin
W. C. 1959. An appraisal of present and future trends in botany. Plant Science
Bull. 5: 1-6.
Turrill, W. B. 1959. Preface. Vistas in Botany. Pcrgamon Press, N. Y.
learn from Professor William L. Stern of Yale that Mrs. Agnes Arber is now
in a nursing home and is very glad to hear from her friends and to know that
she has not been forgotten. Professor Stern suggests that it would make her
days happier if some members of the Botanical Society would write occasional
short cheerful letters. He is sure that she would appreciate it and thinks
we have an opportunity here to express our thanks to a lady who has contributed
much to our science for over 50 years. Her address is: Mrs. Agnes Artier,
Hope Nursing Home, Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge, England.