Status of plant systematics

Susan Farmer sfarmer at SABRE.GOLDSWORD.COM
Wed Aug 27 17:54:10 CDT 1997

As the Graduate Student of Many Ignorant Questions, I must sadly agree
with Dr. Lammers assessment of The State of the Taxonomic Union, so
to speak.  I feel fortunate in that I am not pressured to do molecular
work.  I entered graduate school late (at 40) with a changr from my
undergraduate major (computer science) because I wanted to study Classical
Taxonomy.  It does not seem to be a field in which student are encouraged
to enter -- "there's no money in it."  I, personally, am afraid that in
my son's lifetime (he's 9); all the Asa Gray's of the world will have died
off having no one to impart their knowledge to.  However, I also feel that
the pendulum *will* swing back the other way -- I just hope all that
knowledge doesn't have to be re-learned in a vacuum (i.e., without all
those wonderful mentoring souls.)  We are out there (aspiring Classical
Taxonomists); the current state of affairs doesn't make it easy to thrive.

Susan Farmer
sfarmer at

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