70 Years After Schultes: Economic Botany from the Andes to the Amazon
Voeks, Robert .
Economic Botany (1947-2010): Then and Now.
The journal Economic Botany has changed considerably since its inaugural issue in 1947. This paper explores these changes, and how they reflect on the field of economic botany/ethnobotany, by means of a review of the 2,187 published research articles that have appeared. Contributions have changed over the decades from largely descriptive reviews of lesser known useful taxa to explorations of people-plant relations grounded in hypothesis testing and (largely) quantitative methods. Original research in the field was rarely employed in the early years, but by 2010, 78% of projects included field work. Early research focused on the US and neighboring countries, but by 2005, a minority of original research was being conducted in industrial and post-industrial developed nations. The use of laboratory methods peaked in the 1970s, and has held fairly steady at about 25% of articles.A clear research methodology was rare until the 1970s, but today appears in nearly 100% of published articles. One of the clearest trends is the internationalization of the journal. In the five-year span from 1950 to 1954, 82% of contributors were American, the remainder hailed from only nine other countries. But between 2005 and 2009,only 37% of contributors were American, while 73% came from a total of thirty-two other countries, foremost among these Mexico, Brazil, China, Spain,and the UK. Finally, the content and objectives of submissions has changed significantly,as researchers increasingly concern themselves with botanical conservation and sustainability, ethnobotanical theory, domestication and diffusion, traditional ecological knowledge, the value of non-timber forest products, botanical history and archaeology, gender, and ethnobotanical change.
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1 - California State University--Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA, 92631, USA
evolution of a discipline.
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Maryland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 5:15 PM