“Art and the Botanical Sciences: Past, Present, and Future”

PSB LogoThe Plant Science Bulletin (PSB), the Botanical Society of America’s outlet for society news and perspectives, is organizing a special issue titled “Art and the Botanical Sciences: Past, Present, and Future.”

Artistic expression has served a critical role in botanical science since its inception, but the accepted formats and perceived value of botanical art have shifted over time. Many contemporary botanists are engaging with art and creativity as a means of being better scientists, improving their scientific communication, and exploring experiences and lenses beyond the traditional academic scope.

This special issue will include a collection of articles and visual media that (1) celebrate and critically re-examine the historical role of art in botany, (2) showcase the complex (and sometimes challenging) experiences of contemporary artist–scientists who seek to bridge the gap between disciplines, and (3) present visions for the future integrations of art and the botanical sciences.

We are interested in compiling a wide variety of submissions, spanning diverse topics and formats, including essays, illustrations, comics, and project showcases. We are committed to a frank examination of the past, present, and future state of art in the botanical sciences. As such, we welcome submissions that reflect all aspects of the author’s experience unifying art and science: what works, what doesn’t, and what could change.

Our scope for this special issue is broad, including:

  • Historical art-science intersections
  • Recent botanical sci-art initiatives
  • Artist and scientist perspectives on the interplay between the disciplines • Future directions of sci-art integration
  • Art as an avenue for self-actualization
    • Feeding the mind and spirit
    • Forging connections to the world and our study systems

How to submit: Authors interested in contributing to this special issue should email a proposal consisting of a tentative title, proposed author list, and a 200–300-word abstract to the special issue editors at

The deadline for proposal submission is February 1, 2023. Proposals will be reviewed by the Editor and the special issue editors. Authors will be notified by March 1st as to whether their proposal was accepted.

The Botanical Society of America and its publications are committed to inclusive science that reflects disciplinary, human, and geographic diversity. Proposal submissions from students and other early-career researchers are particularly encouraged.

Authors whose proposals are accepted should submit their contribution by May 1. The target date for publication of the special issue is Fall 2023.

Publication in the Plant Science Bulletin is free of charge and the online version of the issue is freely available to BSA members and non-members alike. For more details about journal scope and article types, please see the Author Guidelines (note that this special issue encourages creative submissions, so feel welcome to go beyond the list!). Any questions may be sent to the special issue editors at

Best wishes,

Special Issue Editors:
Nicolette Sipperly, Stonybrook University
Patricia Chan, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kasey Pham, University of Florida
Rosemary Glos, University of Michigan