Botany for the Next Millennium:


Goals Actions
Vigor of Profession: To maintain botany's record of achievement and discovery Guide national research agenda in the botanical sciences All plant societies should pursue a heightened profile for botany, or plant biology, within the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council and encourage members to serve on review panels and as rotating panel directors for NSF, NIH, USDA.
Maintain the diversity of disciplines in the botanical sciences Granting agencies should award small grants to support research in fields that require relatively small amounts of money or are currently viewed as unfashionable
Achieve effective use of human and technological resources among institutions The Botanical Society of America should build a national inventory of scholars and specialized research facilities representing all botanical disciplines in order to facilitate sharing of expertise and resources. The list of scholars, according to expertise, should be provided to granting agencies for their use in selecting panel members
Promote an integrative approach to the study of plants that draws upon all levels of organization Funding agencies should pursue programs that facilitate the exchange of personnel and sharing of resources among academic communities
Encourage the development of research programs on plants that take advantage of their special properties to answer questions fundamental to all biological research The American Journal of Botany should require that manuscript introductions integrate the work at hand within a larger context -- biological, historical, and/or conceptual -- and explore the possibility of publishing pedagogical articles
Maintain the highest scientific standards for evaluation of research (journals, panels, institutions) Societies should sponsor symposia that cross botanical disciplines
Goals Actions
Continuity of Profession: To attract and support the training of future botanists Ensure that future botanists are broadly trained and that all disciplines are represented Societies and faculties should provide recognition and awards for effective teaching that infuses awareness of plants throughout the curriculum.
Advance the botanical sciences through our own teaching and infuse an awareness of plants throughout the curriculum The Botanical Society of America should develop a model curriculum and national standards for undergraduate training in botany that emphasizes an integrative approach
Promote excellence in teaching and its recognition as the coequal of research Faculties should:
  • institute effective teacher training of graduate students
  • provide mentoring and apprenticeships for young professionals
  • promote research opportunities in botany for both pre-collegiate students and undergraduates

All botanists as individuals should maintain a whole-plant perspective in teaching, research, and communication, whether the emphasis is on molecules or ecosystems

Funding agencies, professional societies, faculties, and individuals should encourage the production of innovative multimedia resources devoted to plants and encourage support and improvement of botanical collections and libraries

Goals Actions
Integration into the Community: To broaden the relevance of botanical knowledge beyond academia Enhance public awareness of the fundamental importance of plants to society Societies, faculties, and individuals should disseminate the results of botanical research broadly -- to businesses, government, and private organizations
Enhance public awareness of the fundamental importance of plants to scientific advancement Societies, faculties, and/or individuals should promote effective botanical education of K-12 by:
  • sponsoring retraining workshops for K-12 teachers
  • interacting with science educators to provide expertise in teacher training
  • promoting research opportunities for pre-collegiate students
  • providing names of professors willing to discuss a variety of topics in high schools
  • interacting with authors/publishers on botanical content of biology textbooks

The Botanical Society of America should improve outreach by:

  • establishing a network of botanical consultants and making them available to civic organizations
  • increasing interactions with extension staffs of land-grant universities
  • providing information to all levels -- local, regional, and national -- of media outlets
  • developing a database of experts who can be consulted on legislative, regulatory, and media issues
  • working with related professional societies to provide input into the legislative process

To improve public understanding of plants, botanists should:

  • participate in and present talks at science education workshops
  • provide information to local, regional, and national media outlets
  • assist institutional public relations offices
  • establish personal contacts with local, regional, and national representatives to government and civic organizations

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