Women & Botany - Field Book Project

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Monday, 19 March 2012


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Hello! I love nmnh.typepad.com and glad to be a part of the forums.

Sara Alexander

A broader look at herbarium employment numbers from Barbara Thiers, manager of the Index Herbariorum:

"Worldwide, there are about 11,000 staff members associated with herbaria (there are about 3000 herbaria worldwide). Of that 11,000, I can either tell definitively, or make a good guess, about the gender of 6824 people. Of those, 3960 ( 58%) are male, and 2863 (42%) are female.

In the US, there are 1279 staff members associated with herbaria -- I could verify the gender of almost all of those (1215). Of this number, 741 (61%) are male, and 473 (39%) are female."

Emily Hunter

Hi Sara, Thank you for your comment—it’s very interesting to see current employment numbers. I'm glad to know that women are (still) holding their own in the field of Botany!

Sara Alexander

To personally get to know a woman botanist, you only have to visit the Smithsonian Natural History Museum's Department of Botany. Three of the permanent curators / research botanists are women. When all botany staff are counted, there are 25 women and 31 men(this does include administrative, IT, and other positions as well as research and collections management). This number doesn't take into account the many contractors and visiting researchers who also conduct botany at the US Herbarium... of which I'm one!

London Removals

Nowadays it is hard to believe and understand that once women had not the opportunity to follow their dreams professionally!

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Field Book Project Website

The Field Book Project is an initiative to increase accessibility to field book content that documents natural history. Through ongoing partnerships within and beyond the Smithsonian Institution, the Project is making field books easier to find and available in a digital format for current research, as well as inspiring new ways of utilizing these rich information resources.
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