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Roots celebrates Linnaeus; taxonomy and education 300 years on

21 May 2007

300 years ago Linnaeus, regarded as the father of taxonomy and creator of the classification system, had little difficulty in engaging young people’s interest in taxonomy. Students flocked from far and wide to study with him and contemporary accounts suggest that his natural history excursions were notorious events! Now however, many of our botanic garden colleagues express concern over the apparently inexorable decline in the popularity of taxonomy. This issue of Roots explores the methods and solutions used by educators to bring taxonomy and classification to life.

We are fortunate to include articles from educators and taxonomic tutors around the world, including Gail Bromley, International Consultant for Biodiversity Education and Education Development Manager, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, Magnus Lidén, Superintendent, and Mariette Manktelow, Education Officer of Uppsala University Botanical Garden, Sweden, Gregory Kenicer, Head of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland and Nick Meijdam, Education Officer at the Utrecht University Botanic Garden.

Internationally there does appear to be consensus that taxonomy per se is important for the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity.  We know that botanic gardens play a significant role in training the next generation of taxonomists.  The question is what role should they play in educating school children and the general public about taxonomy?  If botanic gardens, custodians to an unrivalled diversity of plants, do not see a role for themselves in this process, then who will?

Keep up-to-date!

Keep up-to-date with international developments in botanic garden education, get ideas and inspiration and learn about the latest resources available.  Join BGCI, from only $70, to receive your own personal copies of Roots.  Click here for membership or click here to find out more about Roots.

Each issue contains articles, news and resources that enable botanic garden staff to work with their audiences to develop education programmes for sustainability.  Roots help you keep up-to-date with international developments in botanic garden education, get ideas and inspiration and learn about the latest resources available.

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