Late in the 19th Century the younger Hooker was led to exclaim to some of the botanical students of the day, "You young men do not know your plants!" What would he think of the modern graduate in botany? Now one gets a Ph.D. in the science without knowing most of the plants he encounters every day. Chromosomes, statistics, fancied phylogenies, current fads in morphology and physiology--about such things, like the modern major general, he is "teeming with a lot of news," at least until oral exams are over. If he goes on to teach, it will be to relay the same things, occasionally refurbished, to hordes of freshmen. The general student, though he have no intention or desire to become a professional botanist, must nevertheless master the technicalities of the whole professional field. A simple, direct, spontaneous interest in plants will not do; that is not Science. But to preserve him from extreme specialization, he may be compelled to take "integrated" courses, "progressive education" courses (to what?), or "general education" courses. He must not take up any modest, specific pursuit that he can go ahead with on his own, and that will remain actively a part of his life; such things are old-fashioned.
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Shinners, Lloyd H.
"Francois Crepin on Botanizing,"
Field and Laboratory: Vol. 25
Available at: https://scholar.smu.edu/fieldandlab/vol25/iss2/5