Field of Science

What makes a garden botanic? They don't know in Brooklyn.

What makes a garden botanic?  Obviously botany, a science, a process conducted by botanists, botanical scientists.  Without the botany all you got is a pretty garden, nice, but it adds nothing to the future.  This is rather similar to what makes a university a university?  Simple, it's the faculty and students engaging in scholarship, learning how to learn, and without this the institution is not a university. It saddens and outrages TPP mightily when a venerable institution decides it is no longer going to be in the business of science.  The Brooklyn Gardens (formerly Brooklyn Botanic Gardens) have decided to fire their science department, put their herbarium into storage, and cease being botanical.  It's still a pretty place, but now that's all it is.  Why they actually plan on tearing down the science building and putting up condos!  Gardens are only ever in two states: improving or declining, so without question the garden president Scot Medbury is presiding over its decline.  What you don't see in his bio is telling: botany.  He's a pretty place type guy; all show, no substance.  Why this rather reminds TPP of the black comedy A very peculiar practice where an American president, Jack Daniels, convinces Lowland University in the UK that it could operate very well without students.  This is becoming a bit of a worrisome trend because the type of science done at botanical gardens is becoming rare at universities, and former bastions of taxon based research, museums and botanical gardens, are now using fiscal arguments (of a dubious nature according to TPP's inside source at BBG) to get out of the business of science (e.g., the Field Museum, Fairchild Tropical Gardens).  Science in the USA is definitely in trouble; botany the more so.

No comments: