Jon Monroe monroejd at
Thu Nov 12 20:52:29 EST 1998

On 12 Nov 1998, Ross Koning wrote:

> >How do we defend our profession?
> I address this question in my first lecture in
> all my courses...usually rephrased as why study
> botany?  When you think about our food, our oxygen,
> fossil fuels (and products), electricity, rubber,
> flavors, fragrances, medicines...well I guess
> you get my drift.
> My website has a better list.

I don't really disagree with you Ross, but we ask our students to learn
all sorts of things about how organisms evolve, reproduce, make a living
energetically, express genes, solve problems of heat and water balance,
maintain homeostasis, transduce signals from the environment into changes
in gene expression, etc.  All organisms do these things _including_
plants.  In my mind plants and animals are a whole lot more similar than
they are different.  I hope our students don't get the impression that
biology is about animals and the plants that serve them. 


  Jonathan Monroe		            
  Associate Professor                       
  Department of Biology
  MSC 7801     	  
  James Madison University   
  Harrisonburg, VA 22807  
  voice:  540-568-6649 (office)
          540-568-6045 (lab)
  fax:    540-568-3333
  e-mail: monroejd at

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