18 November 2011

Sarracenia flava var. cuprea

Sarracenia flava var. cuprea, the copper-colored variety of the yellow pitcher plant described by Donald Schnell in 1998. This taxon is the progenitor of several popular copper lid cultivars. The photo was taken at Hortus Botanicus in Leiden during the International Carnivorous Plant Society conference in 2010.

13 November 2011

October's Berry Go Round and crowd funding of science

Unexpectedly, I found that my post on protogeocarpy was included in October's Berry Go Round, a blog carnival on plant science, over at Slugyard. Mike B. of Slugyard put the carnival together in a pretty neat way, adapting Poe's "The Raven" for the Halloween edition of the Berry Go Round.

Hyobanche sanguinea, a parasitic plant native to South Africa and the subject of Andi Wolfe's #SciFund project.
Photo source: Winfried Bruenken, Wikimedia Commons.

Unrelated by also interesting, have you noticed all of the opportunities out there for crowd funding a project? Musicians and artists have been ahead of the curve on this trend; for example, I'm supporting the recording of The Guggenheim Grotto's next album over at PledgeMusic. And then there's a multi-year project of one artist seeking support on Kickstarter to complete a beautiful illuminated manuscript of Darwin's On the Origin of Species (h/t Matt Young at Panda'sThumb). So just a few months ago, a few scientists got together and wondered, "Hey! Where are our crowd funding opportunities. Will it work for science?"

You bet it will work! I would encourage you to check out Andi Wolfe's #SciFund project and support it if you can. Andi is a professor in the department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University that I just began attending this autumn, and the funding from her #SciFund project will support undergraduate research. (Also check our her lab's blog.)

I think overall that the #SciFund challenge will benefit scientists and the public. Scientists must strive to explain often difficult topics to a "why should I care?" public, flexing their PR muscles, and the public gets the opportunity to feel like they're a part of the scientific process. It's exciting and I can't wait to see what comes from it. Good luck, Andi!