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Launching a botanical journal on the verge of WWI: the politics of the AJB
Date:3/19/2014

apart was the fact that it was owned by the Society, in part because the BSA charter members had put up some money in order to get the group started (which became a pretty healthy endowment because of wise investments.)"

The endowment was critical for the survival of the journal through the course of the 20th century. The broadness of the topics it covers continues to set AJB apart and is the direct result of the vision created by Newcombe to capture the whole variety of plant research.

Today, the AJB is internationally recognized as one of the most influential journals in biology and medicine. Never in its history, however, has the need for advances in botanical research been so paramount. Current world population growth is putting pressure on the earth's finite supply of land and water, urging botanists to develop new methods of increasing agricultural outputs while simultaneously decreasing inputs. For Smocovitis, meeting the pressing challenges of the present requires getting up close and personal with the past.

"To understand the present, you have to know something of the past. Knowing something about past struggles can really give you an appreciation of how difficult it is to come up with ideas or to generate innovation," says Smocovitis. In 1979 she was given a gift membership to the BSA by the University of Western Ontario Plant Science Department, along with a BSA Young Botanist Recognition Award. Today she works at the University of Florida and will continue to investigate and celebrate the history of science.

"I'm interested in the history of biological disciplines and how societies and journals function in the way of creating and maintaining community structure in an intellectual context. I like to study those aspects of cultures, or disciplines, that are often taken for granted or thought to be unimportant, or rendered invisiblethey are all important in the way of facilitating intellectual exchange,
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Contact: Richard Hund
rhund@botany.org
314-577-9557
American Journal of Botany
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4

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