The name “plant science” is the most common name used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for plant sciences.
That’s because it’s the name that was used by scientists and plant breeders for a long time.
But it’s a term that doesn’t make it easy for plant breedERS to identify what plant science they work on, says Dan O’Connor, an agronomy professor at Rutgers University.
In fact, he says, there are a lot of different types of plant science that are called different things.
“The word ‘plant science’ is a lot less useful for the science itself than the name, ‘agricultural science,’ ” O’Connors said.
And so, the USDA has changed its name.
O’Hara says the agency recently launched a new web site called Plant Science, which will make it easier for plant scientists to find what they’re working on.
And that will allow them to use the correct name when talking about the different types and branches of plant sciences they work with.
“They’ll get that out there and it will be more accurate and clear,” O’Connell said.
Oftentimes, O’Reilly says, people who are in a position to talk about plant science have to make a decision.
“You can’t just say, ‘I’m an agro-geo-geologist.
I work with agro, and I’m doing plant science,’ because that would be misleading,” he said.
In this case, Orena says that the USDA is following the guidance of the National Academy of Sciences and is working with experts from across the country to find a new, more descriptive name for plant science.
And, he adds, there’s no timeline for when the new name will be launched.