May I thank those who have responded so far about hand lenses. I shall be commenting about the findings and my thoughts about their use.
Will wait a few more days in hope of further input.
In the mean-time, I wish to raise another topic.
In the UK, I have found that VERY FEW people have heard of herbaria
or know what is their purpose.  This includes not just members of the general public, those belonging to the clubs & societies I lecture to but also many enthusiasts interested in identification of plants and MOST scientists incl. many botanists whose work does not involve identifying plants.
Since the early 1980s, I have seen staff numbers at herbaria in the UK & USA decimated – in some cases, replaced by evolutionary biologists.
So, I think it would be helpful if Indian members of this group (excluding those who work in herbaria in India) would kindly answer the following questions:
1.    What is a herbarium for?
2.    Have you ever visited one?
3.    Have you ever used herbaria?  What for and which ones?
4.    Have you ever collected pressed specimens for a herbarium?    
5.    Do you know which is the nearest herbarium to where you live?
6.    Do you know which are the TOP herbaria in India?
I would welcome replies from any member regardless of your background/profession – other than those working in herbaria/for herbaria.
There are no RIGHT or WRONG answers, so please do not hesitate to contribute.


Thanks a lot, …
My quick answers:
1.    What is a herbarium for?- For plant Ids, taxonomic work, keeping Types specimen etc.
2.    Have you ever visited one? – No
3.    Have you ever used herbaria?  What for and which ones? – No
4.    Have you ever collected pressed specimens for a herbarium?    – No
5.    Do you know which is the nearest herbarium to where you live?- I think at Kolkata Botanical Gardens
6.    Do you know which are the TOP herbaria in India?- Those associated with BSI regional centres & other smaller centres & top botanical educational institutes


Just wanted to add that in Hong Kong people think that KFBG where I work is only a garden, they have no idea about our research and they have no idea if we have a museum also. I think the same issue is with UK. People like gardens but they have no idea about the people behind.
I am a traditional; taxonomist and out there in the world, people who work on genetics are treated as real taxonomist which is HIGHLY DISAGREE. When it comes to identification most of the geneticist have not seen plant but just tissue and many of so called geneticist I know have no idea about taxonomy and how it works. I always say that genetics is a tool that can help taxonomist and its not taxonomy in its own at all.
My answers are below:
1.    What is a herbarium for?
It’s a repository of specimens on which the identification of plants across the world is based.
2.    Have you ever visited one?
Yes, many times.
3.    Have you ever used herbaria?  What for and which ones?
Yes many times. For identification, referencing, georeferencing, comparative taxonomy, typification etc K, KFBG, WII, BSID, DD, CAL, TBGRI, BHAG, BLAT, KUN, NOCC, HK (visited); many others I have referred to their digital collections.
4.    Have you ever collected pressed specimens for a herbarium?    
Yes
5.    Do you know which is the nearest herbarium to where you live?
Our own, KFBG (25 m from my desk) and, HK, CUHK, HKU, NOCC
6.    Do you know which are the TOP herbaria in India?
CAL, DD (don’t know if they can be called top but I take top as biggest).


 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.