Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1990 v36 No 1 Spring
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
THOMAS N. TAYLOR, Editor Department of Botany, Ohio State University, 1735 Neil Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43210 (614) 422-3564
JUDITH A. JERNSTEDT Dept. of Agronomy & Range Science, University of California-Davis, Davis, California 95616
RUDY SCHMID Department of Botany, University of California, Berkeley, California, 94720
HARDY W. ESHBAUGH Department of Botany, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN (ISSN 0032-0919) is published four times per year by the Botanical Society of America, Inc., 1735 Neil Ave.. Columbus. OH 43210. Second class postage pending at Columbus. Ohio and additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Robert H. Essman, Botanical Society of America, 1735 Neil Ave.. Columbus. OH 43210.
March, 1990 Volume 36 No. 1
Plant Biology is Not a Rose by Another Name
Calling upon the immortal Bard's words, an article in the October, 1989 (V. 35, No. 3)1 issue of the Plant Science Bulletin implied that decreasing membership in the Botanical Society of America, slackening undergraduate enrollments in botany, and diminishing applications of top-flight candidates for graduate study in botany, are owing to the concept of "botany" held by young aspiring biologists, by most of our contemporaries, by funding agencies, etc., etc., that " 'botany' has a distinct, archaic odor." While all of this may be true, or at least arguable, I would contend that, contrary to the position held in the PSB article above--that botany has gradually changed over the years from a very broad perspective to a relatively narrow one today--the reverse is true, and that the problem lies in our failure to recognize and to take advantage of it in our journal, in the name of our Society, and in our academic departments where botanical subjects are taught and where botanical research is fostered. Those subjects of "modern molecular, cellular, genetic and developmental" biology referred to in the article above, as they concern plants, are surely components of botany insofar as their main objective involves plants. To call these efforts "plant biology" is to discount the botanical basis of the research and to cast botany, the study of plants, into a secondary position, to downgrade the importance of plants in all respects.
There is a problem, no doubt, but I do not see that problem being solved or even an approach being made to the solution by casting botany as "plant biology," by subverting the Botanical Society of America to the American Society of Plant Biology, and detracting from the botanical emphasis of our publication by naming it American Journal of Plant Biology. The Missouri Botanical Garden did not need to be renamed to transform it into the flourishing institution it now is, nor, conversely, did the establishment of a Biology Department stem the demise of botany at Harvard. The logical extension of these nomenclatural perturbations would be to call our academic departments that support the study of teaching of plants, departments of plant biology (as has already been done in several instances), and we practitioners of botany, plant biologists. "Tis but thy name that is my enemy," applied to the present issue, would be interpreted that the name "botany" is the enemy of the study and teaching of plants. And if we call it something else, the enemy ("botany") will cease to exist, to go away, and by implication, conditions for the study of plants will improve. But, the problem lies elsewhere, it lies in our present inability to communicate the sweeping importance of modern botany through our journal, through the Plant Science Bulletin, in our teaching and research, and in our associations with the general public and the news media. Hiding behind the euphemism "plant biology" will not invigorate the study of plants, attract students, or persuade granting agencies that our research proposals are fundable. To apologize for the popular concept of botany as being antediluvian will not bring about a resurgence of interest in plant research or teaching. What will, would be efforts on our part to change the perception of botany and to acknowledge and re-identify it as an upscale, broad-based science concerned with all elements of plant study and research.
If we are to consider a name change for our Society and for our publication which will call forth a modern image, then I would propose that we proclaim the modernity and diversity of botany by using "botanical sciences," rather than defer to those who look disdainfully on the name "botany" and call it "plant biology." Thus, the Society would become the American Society of Botanical Sciences or Botanical Science Society of America and the journal, the American Journal of Botanical Sciences. These changes
would announce to all that botany is a constellation of sciences and not just a
1Article written by my good friend Dr. Ray F. Evert. for whom I have the highest respect.
single endeavor begging to be viewed narrowly. Departments of botany (or even those presently masquerading under "plant biology") might even be tempted to rename them-selves, Departments of Botanical Sciences. The corporate image of botany might then take on again its rightful, untarnished role representing all investigation and instruction dealing primarily with plants.
William Louis Stern Department of Botany University of Florida
The "B" Word -- An Open Letter
Dear Dr. Evert:
I have read your essay in the 10/89 issue of the Plant Science Bulletin but I find your message disturbing. You suggest that membership in our Society may begin to improve if we change its name, and the name of our journal, by dropping the "B" word. Of course, you do not promise us a kinder, gentler future, but you present several anecdotes implying serious consequences for retaining the "B" word. You insist that you tried to compile a list of negative consequences that might result following a name change. You could not think of any. I can think of three interrelated problems.
First, Plant Biology remains an insufficient phrase to describe the sheer breadth of activities undertaken by the members of the Botanical Society of America. Most life scientists trained within the last quarter of a century, accept the concept of Five Kingdoms (and the Plantae begins with Bryophyta). Considering the major contributions made by our phycological and mycological members I could not accept a new name for the society that so narrows the subject matter and might encourage further fragmentation. The useful thing about the "B" word is that it existed long before animal and plant kingdoms were balkanized. As our modern textbooks show, though, it is still a surprisingly useful "euphemism" to unite three Kingdoms into a course or a department. In fact, the title of our journal continues to draw superior contributions from those who work on fossil floras (and never touch organic tissue in the professional sense) but are employed within Departments of Geology and the Earth Sciences.
Secondly, you note that corporations and individuals may change their names for conceptual purposes or to present a new image. Unfortunately, in our society the same corporations and individuals may change their names to conceal origins or obscure facts and our students know this. Have we done anything so awful that we have to resort to some tired tactic that is usually practiced by race hate groups, conglomerates that are responsible for the unemployment of thousands, and neurotic, overpaid actors?
Thirdly, dropping the "B" word shows a contempt for the history of our discipline and would suggest that we have decided to "give in" to the wave of anti-intellectual-ism that pervaded American life in the eighties and seems to have colored thought on some campuses. Who has given our students the impression that the "B" word generates "a distinct, archaic odor?" One of the members of my own faculty refuses to identify himself as a B-ist although he received his Ph.D. from one of the most prominent "B" departments in this country and was advised by one of the most famous members of our society. It has been my experience that the really talented students are more likely to enter the field of a professor who impresses them with equal measures of defiance of the cultural cringe and pride in his own field of expertise. A name change hardly sets the right example. As organizer for the 1990 meeting of the Missouri Academy of Sciences I've learned that most scientific disciplines (both research and applied) are suffering from degrees of low enrollment at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Perhaps it would be worth our while to investigate the activities of societies bearing the names of disciplines far older than our own. Have astronomers changed the names of societies and journals? If you know your own history, and make some attempt to communicate its grandeur to others, you are not concerned about imaginary smells. The citizens of St. Louis do not go for Sunday walks in the Missouri Plant Biology Garden.
As your own collection of anecdotes sounds quite dire please allow me to counter with a more positive, first-hand experience. Note the full title of my first popular book (Bernhardt, P. 1989, wily Violets and Underground Orchids: Revelations of a Botanist.
Wm. Morrow & Co., Ltd., New York). The inclusion of the "B" word was the idea of advertisement specialists at William Morrow & Co., not mine. When critics reviewed my book in such periodicals as The St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Sunday New York Times Book Review, The Christian Science Monitor, etc., they printed the full title and each review stated that the author was a B-ist. Of the 8,000 copies printed by June 1989 only +300 remain in the Morrow warehouse. Royalty checks are biannual so I know that half of all copies had been sold by last October (remember, most modern bookstores accept new stock only on consignment and may return it after only a couple of months). You can not claim that all of these sales and orders represent one individual benefiting from the shared interests of those belonging to the same, small, professional circle. In fact, none of the technical journals or plant and garden magazines have published reviews at the time I type this letter. The full title is being retained for the paperback edition (Vintage Press) and by foreign publishers taking out the lease for overseas editions. It seems to me that there is an untapped spring of support and recognition for the "B" word out there.
Let's not keep this debate alive for too long. After all, I want to go to Sydney this summer. Remember the International Congress in Sydney, Dr. Evert? It's that Australian city on the shores of Plant Biology Bay.
Department of Biology
Saint Louis University
Letter to the Editor
As an overseas member, I read with interest the two views expressed in the Plant Science Bulletin 35(3):1-3 on the proposal to change the name of the Botanical Society of America and AJB. I make the following points - why "Plant Science Bulletin?" Maybe the Society is half way to the compromise already! I would guess that the membership figures might be even worse if the overseas members were pulled out. Easier travel and more prosperity abroad I feel sure have increased the overseas membership. To me AJB covers a very broad
sweep of the subject, the papers are of a high standard and the printing excellent. If some feel they want more molecular aspects why don't they canvass manuscripts?
I believe this would be more effective than changing the name.
Change the name by all means but I plead be careful not to change the emphasis of the contents. There are so many societies, publications and journals in biology today, a large number very specialized, that it is not within the means of some of us at least, to belong to every organization that we feel we might like to or that we ought.
I. K. Ferguson
Royal Botanic Gardens
BSA Bylaws Changes Passed
The following Bylaws amendments all passed by a wide margin on a mail vote in June/July 1989. Underlined words/sentences represent additions to By-Laws. [Bracketed] words/sentences represent deletions to By-Laws.
ARTICLE III. Officers
- The Officers of The Society are: President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Program Director, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany, Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin, and Manager of Publications. The Officers shall accept and conscientiously execute the duties specified in these By-Laws, or that custom and tradition dictate, for each respective office. Newly elected officers shall begin their terms of office immediately following the annual banquet, except as outlined in Article IV. 5.
- The President, President-Elect, and Past President serve for one year. The Secretary, Treasurer, and Program Director serve for three years. The Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany, Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin, and Manager of Publications serve for five years.
ARTICLE IV. Election and Appointment of Officers
(a) After the annual meeting the [President] Past President activates the Election Committee and serves as its chair. The term of service for the three appointed members of this committee is three years, [and the President] and the Committee on Committees appoints one new member each year to replace the outgoing member. [The senior appointed member chairs the committee.] The Secretary of The Society serves the committee, ex officio.
ARTICLE V. Duties of Elected Officers
- President. The President, as chief executive officer of The Society, exercises the general supervision and management of The Society, and represents it as the occasion arises. The President presides at the annual business meeting, at meetings of The Council and of the Executive Committee, and at the annual banquet. The President preforms such other duties and has such other responsibilities as are prescribed in these By-Laws and as may from time to time be assigned by the Executive Committee, Council, and the membership.
- President Elect. The President-Elect performs any duties assigned by the President as well as chairing the Committee on Committees. The President-Elect is a member of the Executive Committee. In addition, at the annual meeting in the year before he/she assumes the presidency, the President-Elect delivers to the membership assembled at the annual banquet a botanically-oriented address. If unusual circumstances prevail, the President-Elect and the President, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Council, may arrange for an appropriate alternative event. (See also ARTICLE IV. 5 of these By-Laws.)
- Past President. The Past-President performs any duties assigned by the President as well as chairing the Election Committee and the Corresponding Member Committee. The Past President is a member of the Executive Committee.
Change 3., 4., and 5. to 4., 5., and 6..respectively.
ARTICLE VII. Council
- The Council consists of the President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Program Director, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany, Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin, Manager of Publications, and the presiding officer or other elected representative of each Section [, and the three most recent Past-Presidents of The Society].
- The President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Program Director constitute the Executive Committee of the Council. The Executive Committee of the Council acts on all interim matters that arise between regular annual meetings of The Society, and in such matters specifically assigned to it in these By-Laws: ARTICLE IV. 1(d), 2, 3, 5; ARTICLE IX. 1; ARTICLE XV.
ARTICLE X. Committees
(g) Election Committee: consisting of the Past President as chair, the Secretary of The Society, ex officio, and three members appointed by the President as specified in ARTICLE IV. 1(a) of these By-Laws.
(m) Committee on Committees: consisting of the President-Elect as chair, the Secretary of The Society, ex officio, and six members, each serving three-year terms, two being appointed each year by this committee. The Committee shall be responsible for the structural and functional aspects of The Society standing and temporary committees. It shall recommend names to the President-Elect for staffing yearly and unanticipated vacancies on these committees, giving consideration to: (1) balanced representation; (2) the number of committees and duties which a potential nominee is serving; (3) the principle of rotation of committee assignments; and (4) the responses from the
membership to a periodic survey of member interests in and qualifications for service on a committee.
Gregory J. Anderson Secretary
Director of Herbarium
Assistant Professor/Director of Herbarium. A 12-month tenure-track position in plant systematics. Successful candidate will direct the Herbarium, develop a re-search program in plant systematics, and teach a graduate course in plant systematics and an undergraduate course. Examples of possible research specialities include evolutionary systematics, developmental or population genetics and conservation biology. Ph.D. degree and postdoctoral or on-job experience required; herbarium experience preferred. Applicants should submit curriculum vitae, complete list of publications, samples of refereed publications, transcripts of all academic records, a statement of interest in research, teaching and herbarium management, and three letters of recommendation to: Chairperson, Plant Systematics Search Committee, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Cordley Hall 2082, Corvallis, OR 97331-2902. Closing date: April 2, 1990. Position available: January l, 1991. OSU is an EOE/AA employer and has a policy of being responsive to the needs of dual-career couples.
LABORATORY EXERCISES FOR A NON-SCIENCE BOTANY COURSE
Most botany and many biology departments offer courses in botanical science for the non-science undergraduate. Such a course should be an important part of a department's offerings. It may be the only biological science course to which a student is ever exposed and might just induce a perceptive student to start a walk on the righteous side of campus. Lectures will depend on the instructor's orientation; Economic Botany, Plants and Man, The Green World or a modified (not bowdlerized) General Botany.
Many schools now specify a laboratory science course as part of distribution requirements. A laboratory experience for a non-science botany course must provide concepts and techniques used in botanical science and must demonstrate the role of plants as a relevant part of their lives. Show-and-tell, looking at pickled plants, or prepared slides is to short-change and turn off students. In the absence of available laboratory manuals, some thoughts on possible laboratory exercises might prove useful. These exercises can be completed or set up in one laboratory period, require only readily available equipment and only modest funding. I have not yet formalized these into lab handouts.
Structure of Flowering Plants
General anatomy: stain free-hand sections with toluidine blue.
Fibers: phloem fibers of flax or Sanseveria following maceration in chromic acid:HNO3; xylem following maceration of match sticks in chromic acid:HNO3.
Histochemical localizations: Total protein - Coomassie brilliant blue (hydrated soybean cotyledons or wheat endosperm).
Basic proteins - Naphthol yellow S (parsnip root)
Lipid - Sudan III (avocado, hydrated peanut cotyledon)
Pectins - Ferric chloride reagent (apple fruit)
Suberin - Sudan IV (cork)
Lignin- Phloroglucinol:HCl (balsa wood, stone cells of pear fruit)
Cellulose - Zinc chloriodide (cotton thread, most plant tissues)
Starch - IKI diluted 1:10 (many tissues, commercial starches examined under polarized light)
Many other histochemical methods can be found in Gohan, R.B. 1984. Plant Histochemistry and Cytochemistry. Academic Press, NY.
Riboflavin: Torulopsis candida (ATCC 10539), or Ashbii gossypii (ATCC 10895) in medium recommended by ATCC. Determine riboflavin concentration of supernatant in spectrophotometer at 444 nm against riboflavin standard solutions.
Penicillin: Penicillium chrysogenium (ATCC 10002) grown in medium recommended by ATCC. Bioassay on agar plates containing penicillin resistant and sensitive bacteria.
Bread: use fast-acting yeast and directions o: package. Use small aluminum pans. Serve in lab with grape jelly (see below).
Barley malt: Imbibe kernels for several days until shoot is 3-5 cm long, dry at 90° C. Grind into powder and test amylase action against starch-agar petri plates by observing zone of hydrolysis after IKI staining. Can also be done quantitatively.
Alcoholic beverages: beer, ale and wine yeasts available from ATCC (check school regulations).
Sauerkraut: shredded cabbage + salt in quart Mason jars.
Grape jelly: bottled grape juice with commercial pectin.
Dehydration: fruit slices with or with-out ascorbic acid solution to prevent browning.
Instant coffee: dry brewed coffee in vacuum oven at 60°C.
Aflatoxin: inoculate imbibed corn kernels with Aspergillus flavus (ATCC 22547) and observe yellow-green fluorescence of aflatoxin under a BLB UV lamp. Check peanut butters with UV.
Virtually a requirement for Vermont students, no substitutes. Sucrose concentrations in sap and syrup tested with refractometers. Well, make syrup from a brown sugar solution. . . if you must (better flavor if vanilla extract is added). One or two labs. Serve with pancakes in laboratory.
Total soluble protein, free amino acids, reducing sugars and sucrose obtained from potato tubers or other vegetables. Measured quantitatively against standard solutions in spectrophotometer. Methods given in biochemistry and plant physiology lab manuals. One or two labs.
Other plant constituents (enzymes, sugars, specific amino acids, inorganic ions, lipids, etc.) can be analyzed using diagnostic kits available from Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, MO 63178, Fisher Scientific Co., and VWR Scientific.
Compare anthocyanin concentrations of green and red portions of apple fruits at 535 nm in spectrophotometer after isolation in methanol:HCl (97:3 v/v). Exposing green apple fruits to fluorescent light from a Gro-Lux lamp will induce anthocyanin synthesis.
Compare chlorophyll concentrations of fresh and old leafy vegetables after extraction with 80% aqueous acetone.
Use commercial potpourris, citrus fruits, available flowers, herbs and spices, or scented leaves. Enfleurage on glass plates coated with Crisco or purified lanolin and extract with alcohol. Distillation from water, concentrate in separatory funnel with petroleum ether, evaporate ether with air stream (hair dryer). Extract directly with alcohol (reflux or warm alcohol) and concentrate by evaporation in air stream.
Sugar from starch: salivary diastase or malt mixed with soluble starch solution. Test for reducing sugar with anthrone reagent or glucose test kits for diabetics.
Proteinase: gelatin solution treated with commercial meat tenderizer. Measure increase in free amino acids with ninhydrin.
Salinized soils: Drench sandy soils with 50 mM NaCl. Grow tomato (sensitive) and barley (insensitive). Determine fresh/dry weight after 3-5 weeks. Water-borne contaminants (pesticides, etc.) tested by similar procedures.
Nitrogen fixation: grow legumes in poor sandy soil with and without inoculation with Rhizobium. Measure stem length, leaf number, and fresh/dry biomass after 4-6 weeks. Observe nodules.
Fertilization: Grow corn or tobacco for 4-6 weeks in good and poor soils with and without soluble fertilizer.
Compare unmordanted with chrome and alum mordants. Dyes obtained boiling nuts (black walnut, butternut, acorns) for dark brown dye, turmeric for yellow to gold dye, hematoxylin (histological grade) for red to purple dye. Other possibilities can be found in dyeing manuals. Use white knitting wool, cotton cloth (white duck) and linen. One lab period to extract dyes and to mordant fibers and a half lab period to dye.
Use facial tissues as source of fibers ("How You Can Make Paper" from American Paper Institute, Inc., 260 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016).
Richard M. Klein
University of Vermont
REPORT ON THE NSF UNDERGRADUATE BIOLOGY CURRICULUM WORKSHOP June 1-2, 1989--Washington, DC
The National Science Foundation is re-structuring some programs to respond to demands that undergraduate training in Biology currently is inadequate to the needs of the nation. NSF has:
- Formed a new division of Undergraduate Science, Engineering and Math Education, which is planned as a partnership between the research and education directorates at NSF. In recent years, education has received very little funding, research has received most of the funds available.
- On June 1-2 a workshop was held in Washington, D.C. by NSF to hear the opinions and activities of many of the professional societies dealing with various aspects of biology. Twelve societies were represented, including the Botanical Society of America, American Society of Plant Physiologists, Ecological Society of America, American Society of Zoologists, American Society of Cell Biology, Society for Developmental Biology, and others. Some very large societies were included such as the American Society of Microbiology (15,000 members), AIBS (80,000 members) and FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology).
Representing NSF were: Dr. Mary Clutter, Assistant Director for Biological, Behavior-al and Social Sciences, Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri, Assistant Director for Science & Engineering Education, Judith Weis, Program Officer for Science Education; and program officers from several of the research directorates (Judy Plesset, Developmental Biology; Robert Watson, Molecular Biology; and Frank Harris, Ecology). Dr. Eric Bloch also was present for part of the meeting. Charles Chambers of AIBS was present, as well as representatives of the Howard Hughes Foundation.
The purpose of the workshop was to let NSF know what the Societies are doing to improve biology teaching, and what needs to be done. Two similar meetings have been held during the last two years, one by the National Science Board and the other by NSF, which included a group of distinguished scientists chaired by Peter Raven. Both put out published reports indicating serious problems in quality of college teaching of mathematics, engineering and sciences. The Raven panel particularly emphasized that NSF could take the lead in stimulating needed improvements in biology teaching, namely in quality of teaching, in laboratories and curriculum, and in recruitment and retention of students in biology.
The panel this year, representing professional societies, revealed that most societies are aware of these problems, and have already made efforts to help their members who teach. The approaches by societies include designing new laboratories and audiovisual materials, holding teaching workshops, funding summer research fellow-ships and mentor programs for high school teachers and for minority students, funding travel grants for teachers and students to national meetings, sending speakers to teacher association meetings, and special journals or newsletters for teaching members. The Botanical Society is ahead of several societies which have only recently allowed teaching members, and several have only recently organized teaching sections and teaching committees. We were the only society offering teaching slide sets to members; several others liked this idea. Some of the larger societies were ahead of us in getting working groups to write and publish "lab exercises that work," and updating articles on new topics to keep teachers current. Those with large member-ships and more funds have gone further than
BSA in subsidizing teachers and students and in organizing regional meetings for teachers.
This year's panel came up with a number of suggestions about what NSF can do with seed money to improve biology teaching. The ideas fall generally under 1) Curriculum; 2) Teacher improvement; and 3) Publicizing teaching information already available through the societies, NSF, or other data-bases.
- Curriculum. The panel unanimously felt that guidelines for a standard curriculum in biology would not be welcome, even though the chemists have apparently gone this route. Rather, the aims should be to suggest that concepts should be emphasized rather than the mountain of detail found in most textbooks. Newly devised lab experiments could be elicited to teach concepts. NSF could make many small awards for designing such experiments, or holding regional curriculum workshops for teachers in small colleges in cooperation with larger universities, or for sending outstanding biology lecturers on tours of small colleges. The improvement of biology courses for non-majors is considered to be especially vital, since this group becomes the voting public which needs to better understand scientific concepts to deal with the onslaught of new problems.
- Faculty improvement. The panel had several suggestions about how NSF funds could be used effectively: competitive small grants for projects using visiting scholars, faculty interchange, regional workshops of large and small schools, summer training for teaching assistants (including international students), mentoring, experience opportunities for teachers in research labs and field stations, and summer salary awards for teachers re-organizing courses or laboratories. NSF could also establish some reward system for teaching excellence.
It was also suggested that NSF should bring together the grantees both before they begin their projects, and after they are completed, to increase the effectiveness of funds expended. Also NSF could publish the results of the grants and make this publication widely available to college biology teachers.
Some guidelines were offered by representatives of the Hughes Foundation, who have held competitions for grants in aid of biology teaching the past two years. They received twice as many excellent applications as they could fund.
- An information network on teaching materials and methods. The panel felt that NSF and AIBS could endeavor to cooperate on this. Most panel members were quite unaware of the abundance of such information avail-able just through the various societies; undoubtedly the information needs wider circulation to teachers, many of whom do not even belong to professional societies.
Only modest funds will be available from NSF for biology teaching improvement the first year. But the pressures on Congress suggest that additional funds may be forth-coming to NSF which are earmarked for education. It will be an opportunity for every-one who teaches biology to think of ways to improve their own courses and laboratories.
Department of Botany
Louisiana State University
Advances in Labiate Science
An international meeting on the chemistry, systematics, and economic botany of the Labiatae, is scheduled for April 2-5, 1991 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, New, England. The meeting is jointly sponsored by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Phytochemical Society of Europe, and the Linnean Society of London and will consist of a series of invited papers and a poster session. The two main systematic themes will be relationships between major groups of Labiatae (or within large genera) and floral biology. There will also be papers on phytochemical and economic topics. The meeting organizers intend to produce a symposium volume of papers presented at the conference. For further details, write to the meeting representative in the U.S.: Dr. Philip D. Cantino, Department of Botany, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701-2979, or to the meeting organizers in the U.K.: Dr. R.M. Harley (systematic botany and floral biology) or Dr. T. Reynolds (phytochemistry and economic botany), Royal Botanic Gardens, New, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, England.
Society for Economic Botany Annual Meeting
The 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany will be held June 10-13, 1990 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Contributed papers are welcome. There will be a keynote symposium with invited papers on "The Botany of Forest Products" and field trips scheduled for June 6-9, June 10 and June 13. For more information, contact: Gail Wagner, Department of Anthropology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; (803) 777-6548/6500.
3rd Biennial Conference on the Soybean
The 3rd Biennial Conference on the Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Soybean will be held 23-25 July 1990 at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. For information, contact: Randy C. Shoemaker, Rm. G401, Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 (515/294-6233).
AIBS Symposium on Population and Scarcity
On April 20, 1990, during Earthweek, AIBS will sponsor a full-day symposium at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington en-titled, "Population and Scarcity: The For-gotten Dimensions." The symposium will consider the role that population plays in generating environmental problems, and the impact on humanity. Speakers include Paul Ehrlich, Herman Daly, Anne Ehrlich, John Holdren, Dan Luten and Garrett Hardin. Registration is $35.00 and is needed by April 1. For further information and registration materials, contact: Louise Salmon, AIBS Meetings Manager, 730 1lth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 (202/ 628-1500).
1990 Young Botanist Recognition Awards
The Botanical Society of America requests nominations for the Young Botanist Recognition Awards for 1990. The purpose of these awards is to offer individual recognition to outstanding graduating seniors in the plant sciences and to encourage their participation in the Botanical Society of America. Award winners each receive a Certificate of Recognition signed by the President of the Society and forwarded to the nominating
faculty member for presentation. Nominations should document the student's qualifications for the award and be accompanied by one or more letters of recommendation. Nominations should be sent to the Secretary, Gregory J. Anderson, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Rd., The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3043 by 1 April 1990.
Eminent Ecologist Seminar Series
As a part of the summer academic field ecology program, Michigan State University's W.K. Kellogg Biological Station is pleased to announce the speakers for this year's Eminent Ecologist Seminar Series (BOT/ZOO 891). The speakers will be:
- Dolph Schluter, University of British Columbia - "The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation," June 25-29.
- Daniel Simberloff, Florida State University - "The Structure of Ecological Communities," July 9-13.
- H. William Hunt, Colorado State University - "Food Webs and Ecosystem Analysis," July 23-27.
- Mark Hixon, Oregon State University, "Community Ecology of Reef Fishes/Behavioral Ecology of Hummingbirds," August 13-17.
In addition to this special seminar course, a variety of field ecology courses are available for this summer at the Kellogg Biological Station. Through the field-trip format, students get a first-hand look at the ecological diversity in the Michigan Great Lakes Region. The 1990 courses include: Field Plant Systematics, Comparative Limnology, Invertebrates, Ornithology, Tropics in Conservation Biology, Global Change Seminar, Plant Population Biology, Scientific Illustration, Outdoor Environmental Studies, Animal Ecology, Fresh Water Algae, Plant Ecology, Herpetology, Environmental Microbiology, Entomology, Ecology of Fishes, and Scientific Photography. These courses run for five weeks (June 20-July 24 or July 25-August 29). There are several part-time, on-site paid positions available to assist students with financial need. For information, contact: Jan Eberhardt, Academic Coordinator, Rm. 22, Natural Science Bldg., Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (517/355-1284).
Marketing of Tropical Fruits--Hopeful Sign for Rainforest Preservation
The marketing of tropical fruits can be a way for indigenous people to benefit from the tropical rainforest without destroying it, according to a study by Missouri Botanical Garden researchers Alwyn H. Gentry and Rodolfo Vasquez, published in the December 1989 issue of Conservation Biology. According to the researchers, harvesting fruits from trees growing in the wild and selling them in the local market can bring income and nutrition to the local people while at the same time conserving the forests. In some cases, wild-harvested fruits are even exported. Proper wild-harvesting techniques must be developed and employed to safeguard the most profitable trees. For further information, contact Janine Adams at the Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 (314/577-9540).
$15,000 Graduate Fellowships at Louisiana State University
Students interested in doctoral studies in systematic botany should note that graduate fellowship stipend awards in the amount of $15,000 annually plus a waiver of tuition and most academic fees for up to four years are available in botany at Louisiana State University. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship or permanent alien residence and fulfilling the academic standards of the Department of Botany and the University Graduate School. Students interested in vascular plant biosystematics desiring more information and application materials should contact: Lowell E. Urbatsch, Department of Botany, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-1705 (Phone 504/388-8485; FAX 504/388-6400).
Four new reports from the National Academy of Sciences were recently released. The Committee on Research Opportunities in Biology, chaired by Peter H. Raven, released Opportunities in Biology (448 pp., $42.50), covering the major biological sectors. The second study, Field Testing Genetical Modified Organisms (184 pp., $19.95), provides a framework for scientific assessment of the risks posed by field trials of genetically modified plants and microorganisms. Improving Risk Communication (332 pp., $29.95) presents a checklist for risk managers and media representatives for preparing an accurate risk message for the general public. The last title, Investing in Re-search, discusses the need for increased agricultural research funding. Titles may be obtained through the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washing-ton, DC 20419 (800/624-6241; in Washington: 334-3313).
AIBS Washington Scene, February 1990 Jennie Moehlmann
Council of Scientific Society Presidents
The following three resolutions were passed by the Council on December 7 during its fall semi-annual meeting (BSA is one of the member societies in this organization):
- RESOLUTION -
Endorsing the Strengthening of a Competitive Research Program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
WHEREAS the long-term economic and environmental health of the United States depends greatly on agriculture; and
WHEREAS new and increasing research efforts are required to assure the safety and quality of the U.S. food supply, and to assure the manageability and sustainability of our natural resources; and
WHEREAS the Board on Agriculture of the National Research Council has proposed a new competitive funding initiative entitled "In-vesting in Research" to be furnished by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and
WHEREAS only a small fraction of USDA support for research is now awarded on the basis of competitive grants;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of Scientific Society Presidents endorses the creation of an expanded national research initiative for merit reviewed, individual investigator research in agriculture, food, and environmental science by the USDA.
- RESOLUTION -
On Sustaining the Role of the Scientific Societies in Advancing Science
WHEREAS the members of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents lead U.S. scientific societies which were founded to serve the public welfare by advancing all areas of science and technology; and
WHEREAS scientific societies are self-supporting and much of their work is con-ducted by volunteers at no cost to the government or the public; and
WHEREAS income from "substantially related" activities corresponds to user funding of activities important to the communication and exchange of scientific information;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of Scientific Society Presidents strongly supports a continuation of tax exemptions for income from "substantially related" activities that have traditionally and appropriately supported scientific societies in the conduct of their activities.
- RESOLUTION -
Urging a Reallocation from Defense Activities to Non-Defense Research and Education
WHEREAS there is a broadening consensus that the real growth of the U.S. defense budget should be abated to reflect new realities; and
WHEREAS it is widely held that the national security is sustained not only by military strength but by a flourishing, technologically advanced economy responsive to the global marketplace and international competition; and
WHEREAS research and development in support of the national defense employ a large share of resources--public funds, human talent, and infrastructure--that might otherwise be deployed in non-defense re-search and development endeavors; and
WHEREAS public funding of non-defense re-search and development is presently inadequate in relation to the critical national needs they are intended to serve, as evidenced by, for instance, the shortfalls in appropriations for the authorized doubling of the National Science Foundation budget; and
WHEREAS public funding is critical for basic research, and basic research studies--especially those undertaken by individual investigators--are the foundation upon which our technologically advanced economy is dependent;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of Scientific Society Presidents urges the Administration and Congress to re-evaluate defense research and development requirements and develop a strategy for the prudent reallocation of public funds from defense development, testing, and evaluation to non-defense research and development activities with appropriate emphasis on basic research and science education.
Leins, Peter, Shirley Tucker, and Peter Endress, eds. Aspects of Floral Development. J. Cramer Publishers, Berlin, Stuttgart, 1988. 239 pp. $72.00 (paper).
Although dedicated to "all who love flowers," the market for this book is not likely to include lay gardeners or those looking for glossy coffee-table displays. This volume contains a collection of papers from the proceedings of the double symposium "Floral Development: Evolutionary Aspects and Special Topics" held at the XIV International Botanical Congress in Berlin in 1987. The focus is the use of developmental floral morphology in resolving questions of phylogeny and systematics. The papers and figures (primarily scanning electron micrographs) are high in quality. While most contributions are specialized and thick with terminology, there are several more general papers. R. Sattler outlines important developmental parameters to be used, presumably, for cladistic analyses. S. Tucker presents fascinating examples from the legumes of suppression vs. loss of floral parts, events that may affect phyllotaxy. The volume does not include any reviews and does not consider other "aspects of floral development" such as physiology, ultrastructure, molecular biology, floral biology, or biophysical mechanisms of morphogenesis. Thus, it will primarily be of interest to specialists. Nevertheless, there are many beautiful descriptive details and the relevance of the characters to systematics is convincingly demonstrated. One hopes that molecular attempts to explain floral development will eventually become sophisticated enough to cope with the complex and dazzling four-dimensional (including time) arrays so well-illustrated here.
Department of Botany
The Ohio State University
The Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of Elmira College invites applications from individuals with a Ph.D. in Botany and some teaching experience for a one-year position as a sabbatical replacement, beginning September l, 1990. Responsibilities will include teaching the first part of the freshman biology course, which includes cell biology, genetics and a survey of the plant kingdom; a sophomore level course in plant anatomy (seed plants); a junior level plant physiology course; and a one-semester, non-majors course in biology. The salary for this non-tenure track position of Visiting Lecturer ranges from $20,000$22,000 at a small residential liberal arts college. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Review of applications will begin March 5, 1990 and will continue until the position is filled. Letter, vitae, and three current letters of reference should be sent to Dr. Bryan D. Reddick, Elmira College, Elmira, NY 14901. EOE.
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