Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Botany in Congress

Now more than ever before in our history it is incongruous to see a botany bill in Congress (intentional pun). But here it is: a bill that promotes botany, botany education, and plant conservation! The Botanical Sciences and Native PlantMaterials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act has a Democratic and a Republican sponsor. See here for a summary of the main points of the bill.

Right now, at the university where I teach, I have two students who are beginning research projects with an endangered tree species the bark of which has antibacterial properties. One of them already develops and sells botanical skin care products and wants to develop one that incorporates extracts from this species (without knowing anything about the active ingredient/s). The other is a chemistry major who knows how to conduct research on the active ingredient/s. Despite the depressing overall political climate, I am encouraged by the (what appears to me sudden) interest in botany and conservation among some of my students. This bill, in the unlikely event that it passes, will come too late to help my botany majors with their student loans etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment