RE; Taxonomy in the public eye

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Tue Jan 14 09:07:04 CST 1997

At 06:58 AM 01-14-97 -0500, you wrote:
>I particularly like the taxonomic references in the X-file mentioned
>in the original email on this thread because they used the term "mycolo-
>gist" without explanation...i.e., naturally in conversation; and, while,
>it sometimes appeared that the accelerated growth fungi were green (see
>first body bag opening scene), pathology was reasonable and real generic
>names (in one case, I think, a binomial) were given.

In an episode earlier this year, seed of Adenia volkensii (Passifloraceae),
an eastern African species containing cyanogenic glycosides, was involved
somehow. Conveyed mental powers or some such (I'm not a big fan; I was just
asked if it was a "real" plant).  Again, the binomial was indicated, as well
as the fact it was an African passion-flower.  Perhaps someone on the
production staff has been in one of our botany classes?

BTW, if you'd like to see more good science in popular media and have a
great idea for a story involving systematics, Douglas Preston, one author of
"Relic", is looking for ideas.  His e-mail address, from the Relic webpage,
is 102117.106 at  Here's your chance.

Thomas G. Lammers
Department of Botany                     Classification, Nomenclature,
Field Museum of Natural History          Phylogeny and Biogeography
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive       of the Campanulaceae
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

e-mail:     lammers at
voice mail: 312-922-9410 ext. 317
fax:        312-427-2530

        "The naming of things by their right names is the beginning of wisdom."

More information about the Taxacom mailing list