Article Highlights Plant Blindness

Release Date: 
Monday, September 15, 2014


"By not paying attention to this whole kingdom of life, we lose something really important -
I work every day to combat it," Christopher Martine

Dr. Lena Struwe working with graduate student Lauren Frazee (front), and undergraduate Alisha Sharma. (Rutgers University)

Many botanists are battling plant blindness, or the inability to see or notice the plants in one's own environment, with educational and outreach programs that target k-12 programs, undergraduate students, and the the general public. The recent increase in plant blindness most likely stems from our movements away from rural areas into cities, the perceived dangers of the outdoors, and zoocentrism (the focus on animals, giving them preference above all other considerations).

Social media is playing a large role in many botanist’s outreach efforts. One example is Plants Are Cool, Too, a YouTube web series created and hosted by Christopher Martine (Bucknell University) and cosponsored by the Botanical Society of America. On twitter, botanists are using the hash tags Iamabotanist and reclaimthename to “reclaim the name” of botanist while displaying the diversity of botany research.

To read more about how botanists around the country are combating plant blindness read the the original article written by Virginia A. Smith at the Philadelphia Inquirer.