Thursday, August 15, 2013

The BSA Evolution Session: We Made the Papers!

On July 30, I reported from the Botany 2013 meeting in New Orleans. I mentioned the symposium, organized by Joe Armstrong and Marsh Sundberg, called “Yes, Bobby, Evolution is Real.” I wish to announce that this symposium generated some notice (or, depending on your viewpoint, notoriety), though not as a result of my presentation. The New Orleans Times-Picayune took notice of the presentations by Barbara Forrest and the activist student Zack Kopplin, and were not entirely pleased; the Huffington Post reported it more positively.

A meeting of botanists does not usually draw very much attention from even the local media, not even negative attention (I can imagine a headline, “Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) Decries Botanists Using Federal Funds to Meet and Talk about Wildflowers at Snowbird Resort” or “Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) Denounces Botanists for Talking about Global Climate Change at Hot Summer Meeting in New Orleans”).  We need to get attention more often. But we won’t unless the rest of us botanists, as Joe and Marsh have done, actually plan something to that end. So, what should we do for the 2014 meetings in Boise, Idaho? Maybe some of us could walk around the city park Sunday afternoon dressed as flowers and bees to publicize the economic importance of crop pollination?

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