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Smithsonian Botanical Symposium

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May 19, 2017

Washington, DC USA

Smithsonian Botanical Symposium

“Exploring the Natural World: Plants, People and Places”

Presented by the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

In collaboration with the United States Botanic Garden

History hides behind our garden and museum displays. Plants and artifacts can be themselves objects of wonder, but scratch the surface and every item on display or curated for scientific study has a deeper story as to how it was collected and came to be included in our mostly urban cultural institutions. Large sponsored expeditions or even just curious individuals set off to explore remote corners of the world, and brought back plants, animals, and other natural history treasures. Often the focus was on a particular route or region. Sometimes circumstance caused an individual to take up residence in an unfamiliar part of the world and day-to-day observations of the new environment lead to discoveries that were sent home to eager audiences. Every garden, museum, and herbarium collection has and continues to grow through a delightful and maddening combination of purpose and accident.

The 15th Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, hosted by the Department of Botany and the United States Botanic Garden, will highlight the history of exploration undertaken by individuals and groups with an emphasis on exploration of the Americas. Several of our presentations are based on recently-published books or books in preparation.

Program Schedule:

Friday, May 19            

  9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  Lectures and Discussion, Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History

  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Closing Reception and poster session, United States Botanic Garden

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