Names vs. money

Carlos Vargas cvargas at LEHMANN.MOBOT.ORG
Fri Feb 13 11:21:36 CST 1998

Dear colleagues:

  Philantropy' definition is clear: "The effort or inclination to increase the
well-being of mankind (botanists) as by charitable paid or donations"
Therefore, I must agree with Thomas Lammers' answer, but again  the only
real answer would arise once real people/enterprises fund any botanical
research. Of course many botanical institutions are going to be receptive and
depending of the degree of funding (if individual or to institutional level) those
philantropists probably will see their names or their enterprises' name
not only as in plants but also in some new buildings devoted to botanical research.
 Of course some philantropists would prefer being considered as "Anonymous".
I wonder which would be the appropiate epithet for a plant after this anonymous
donor: Zea anonyma??
   Through history botany showed us many cases, especially ones involved with
people providing funds to botanists and their research. One interesting point is
that many botanical museums and libraries through world were named after
philantropists and also enterprises (Missouri Botanical Garden's Lehmann
Building and the new Monsanto Center are only a few examples).
    Many plant's and orchid's names have been chosen after people of
many backgrounds:
1. Biologists (or students without a degree) of all branches, especially botanists
2. Non-biologists. Professional of all branches
   In the case of botany there were and are many MD's involved in funding and
active research, I know one who do active orchid research and also provide funds
to this research, but most of the names after him derived from his expertise in the field.
   One expert in venezuelan orchids was an Oil Engineer, but he made more than 1000
superb orchid illustrations and funded many expeditions in search for orchids etc. etc
Also amateurs, nature's lovers, plant's hunters after economically interesting plants
(timber, plants for food, ornamentals, medicinals, etc.)

Best wishes,

Carlos A. Vargas
Missouri Botanical Garden
2345 Tower Grove
St. Louis, MO 63110
email:cvargas at
(314) 577-9563 (work)
(314) 664-1053 (home)

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