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Botanists Enter the 21st Century This New Year’s Day

by Deb Shaw

Every botanist who has discovered a new plant species — approximately 2,000 new species of plants, algae and fungi are named each year — has had to write and submit a formal description in Latin and ensure that the description (in Latin) is published the old-fashioned way: in a journal on paper.

Until, January 1, 2012, when new rules will take effect, allowing descriptions to be submitted in a modern language, online. Read the Scientific American blog to see the full story about how botanists are finally ditching Latin and paper, and joining the 21st century. This New Year’s Eve we can all toast progress, and wish everyone a healthy, happy New Year, with great paintings to come.


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