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Offlinerunnerup
student

Registered: 03/23/04
Posts: 708
Loc: USA
Last seen: 6 years, 18 days
What will happen to Ethnobotany !?!?
    #3447976 - 12/05/04 12:26 AM (12 years, 5 days ago)

I had some questions about this career a few months ago. I thought it would be a good discussion point. Here are some responses I received.






------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Is Ethnobotany a career choice that cannot possibly be successful in our
modern age do to the decrease in rain forest and the westernization of
indigenous people?
=========================
There is more of a need for ethnobotanists than ever before. There are still
plenty of indigenous societies in the world. As they become increasingly
acculturated, it becomes increasingly urgent to preserve their traditional
knowledge, which of course includes their knowledge of medicinal plants.


To the best of your knowledge, what will be of Ethnobotany 10, 20, and 30
years from now?
=========================
Probably not all that different than it is today.


Will the process of isolating and manipulating active compounds found in
certain plants and animals be outdated through the process of engineering
them from scratch?
=========================
I don't think so. There is still a lot of work to be done with plant
medicines. Only a small percentage of plant species have been careful
examined from a pharmacological perspective.

Regards,
Daniel Siebert
The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center
http://sagewisdom.org

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Christian,

I will answer your questions to the best of my ability--answers are below in blue.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Wuerker
Headquarters
Amazon Conservation Team
4211 N. Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22203
email: ewuerker@amazonteam.org
tel: (703) 522-4684
fax: (703) 522-4464


Is Ethnobotany a career choice that cannot possibly be successful in our modern age do to the decrease in rain forest and the westernization of indigenous people?
Ethnobotany is a thriving discipline right now. Yes the rainforests are threatened, and many indigenous groups are becoming more westernized. But many indigenous groups are still around, and proud of what they know. There have been several landmark occasions in the past few years related to ethnobotany and traditional knowledge, see the attached article, as ethnobotanists and indigenous people work together to ensure proper respect and compensation for intellectual property rights.

To the best of your knowledge, what will be of Ethnobotany 10, 20, and 30 years from now?
Impossible to speculate--hopefully with a much stronger contribution by indigenous people, with their voice heard much more.

Will the process of isolating and manipulating active compounds found in certain plants and animals be outdated through the process of engineering them from scratch?
No, while people believed that this would be the case during the 20th century, it has proved impossible to reproduce many natural products, see the case of rubber--we are still unable to manufacture a synthetic rubber substitute that can be used for most purposes.


Thank you for reading this letter


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Offlinefaslimy
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Re: What will happen to Ethnobotany !?!? [Re: runnerup]
    #3447984 - 12/05/04 12:28 AM (12 years, 5 days ago)

Interesting, thanks for posting


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Offlinefelixhigh
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Registered: 06/24/01
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Re: What will happen to Ethnobotany !?!? [Re: runnerup]
    #3449255 - 12/05/04 11:12 AM (12 years, 5 days ago)

very cool, nothing like work/study what one likes most...
ethnobotany is forever!


FH


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Offlinerunnerup
student

Registered: 03/23/04
Posts: 708
Loc: USA
Last seen: 6 years, 18 days
Re: What will happen to Ethnobotany !?!? [Re: felixhigh]
    #3449954 - 12/05/04 02:14 PM (12 years, 5 days ago)

A lot of natives are converting to modern society, this is not good for ethnobotay. Some of the natives that convert do not even keep there tradition. In places like Oaxaca tradition is considered sacred and kept, although some people have been turning to modern medicine, modern culture, modern religion, etc.. etc.. The use of doctors are becoming more useful then the use of shaman, especially in places like Mexico and Brazil, where they are trying to get out of there current capitol status. A Brazilian friend of mine had told me that Brazil has just recently (last month) had the privilege to get out of 3rd world status.


Edited by runnerup (12/05/04 02:14 PM)


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