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Abstract Detail

Plenary Address

Crane, Peter [1].

Respecting the Past and Embracing the Future: Envisioning Botany in the Next Generation.

By its very nature botany is a science that requires a keen sense of history, and it is not only, to borrow a phrase from Dobzhansky, that "nothing in biology makes sense except in terms of evolution." Our rules of nomenclature depend on the principle of priority. We recognize that the composition of plant communities and their distribution has strong historical components. And while the loss of plant diversity is an important societal concern, we are also keenly aware that extinction has been part of plant evolution since the very beginning. Lyell recognized that the present is the key to the past, but just as surely, understanding the past is key to understanding the future. However, at the same time,we also know that if botany is to flourish in a rapidly changing world, it must adapt and change, and it must invest in the next generation who will be the leaders of tomorrow. It must train its students well and it must embrace the new ideas, new technologies, and new approaches that will define the future. Ensuring a flourishing botany in the next generation is a daunting challenge. It is hard to imagine that we will be successful unless we can encourage creativity and innovation among the next generation, and unless we can connect ever more strongly and directly to issues of great societal importance. Demands for relevance, flexibility, and efficiency are likely to increase in the coming decades. How we, and the institutions of which we are part, respond will be important determinants of the future for our students and our discipline.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, 06511

none specified

Presentation Type: Special Presentation
Session: S1
Location: Regency Ballroom/Hyatt
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2012
Time: 7:30 PM
Number: S1001
Abstract ID:1195

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