Positive Digital Initiatives in Plant Anatomy Triggered by the Current Global Pandemic
We are in special times, something only few of us could have predicted. But the sudden confinement, the impossibility of gathering in our institutional and societal meetings have also brought up new possibilities. The Botanical Society of America made Botany 2020, initially scheduled to happen in Anchorage, Alaska, to take place 100% virtually from July 27th till 31st and with more accessible prices. That allowed botanists not only from the US but from across the world to gather online and discuss their most recent findings. At least two sections, one on Morphology and Anatomy and another in Paleobotany counted with several wood anatomical contributions from our members followed by live discussions. Another remarkable initiative was that the I Simpósio Digital de Sistemática e Evolução de Plantas, created by the initiative of 13 young Brazilian Botany Professors, completely free of charge,that took place from August 10th to 11th and counted with over 2,000 attendees, with talks in Portuguese, Spanish and English and an enthusiastic audience happy to few connected and learn the most recent finding in Neotropical Botany. Smaller, but not less important initiatives, are the now weekly encounters in plant anatomy promoted by the Plant Anatomy Lab of the University of São Paulo called AnatoEncontros, currently in Portuguese, every Friday at 12 o ‘clock (GMT -3, Brasilia time) on their YouTube channel (previous talks are available on their website) and that of the I Ciclo de Palestras Baiano Online em Anatomia Vegetal (I CPBOAV), which took place from August 17th till 19th, and was the first of a round of periodic talks planned by the Laboratory of Plant Anatomy of the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, organized by IAWA member Lazaro Silva and colleagues, with special emphasis in wood anatomy.
Marcelo Pace, Mexico