Abstract Detail

Botanical History

Sundberg, Marshall [1].

The Teaching Botanist - - William F. Ganong and the Botanical Society of America.

William Francis Ganong (1864-1941) was the first Professor of Botany at Smith College (1894-1932) and a founding member of the Society for Plant Morphology and Physiology. As secretary for its entire 9-year existence, he produced detailed records of the annual meetings and society programs.  The first such program was an effort to encourage the Botanisches Centralblatt to publish reviews of new American botanical papers and books, as an alternative to publishing a new journal.  A more successful effort was a multi-year study to produce a standardized college entrance exam for botany, chaired by Ganong and first implemented in 1902.  The final version was published by the BSA in 1908.  He was instrumental in negotiating the merger of the Society for Plant Morphology and Physiology with the American Mycological Society and the Botanical Society of America in 1906 to form the current BSA.  Two years later he was elected the second post-merger BSA President.  While Ganong published botanical research in morphology, ecology and physiology, (and New Brunswick archeology, cartography, history, Indian nomenclature, and natural history), he is best known in this country for his publications in botanical education, notably his two editions of “The Teaching Botanist.”  This presentation will compare and contrast the two botanical societies during their independent tenures and particularly Ganong’s role in driving program development of the morphologist/physiologists, up to and through the eventual merger of societies.  It will also describe and critique Ganong’s approach to teaching botany, especially in contrast to his BSA contemporary, Charles E. Bessey.   

1 - Emporia State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 1 Kellogg Circle, Emporia, KS, 66801, United States


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: HIST1, Botanical History
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Time: 3:30 PM
Number: HIST1003
Abstract ID:122
Candidate for Awards:None

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