The 2005 José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany was presented to Drs. Jerzy Rzedowski and Graciela Calderón de Rzedowski at the 5th Annual Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, 16 April 2005.
Laurence J. Dorr, Chair of the Award Committee, Smithsonian Institution made the award presentation noting the Rzedowski's contributions to tropical botany. He then introduced Victoria Sosa from the Instituto de Ecología in Xalapa, who read a message from the Drs. Rzedowski expressing their appreciation for the honor and their regret at not being able to attend the ceremony.
2005 Cuatrecasas Medal Awarded to
Drs. Jerzy Rzedowski and Graciela Calderón de Rzedowski
Drs. Jerzy Rzedowski and Graciela Calderón de Rzedowski of the Instituto de Ecología del Bajío in Michoacán, Mexico are the joint recipients of the 2005 José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany. This year the Award Committee broke with tradition and offers this award jointly to the Drs Rzedowski since while their individual contributions are meritorious we could not overlook the enormous contribution their joint efforts have made to tropical botany. Every student of Mexican botany is proud to own a copy of Vegetación de México (1971); the Flora Fanerogámica del Valle de México (1979; 2001, 2nd edition) is an impressive catalog of the flora of one of the world's largest metropolitan areas; and the Flora del Bajío y de Regiones Adyacentes (1991-x) is a monument to scholarship, organization, and dedication. The award committee also was impressed with their many papers and monographs dealing with diverse flowering plant families, but most notably the work leading to a monograph of the genus Bursera (Burseraceae) in Mexico.
16 April 2005
Laurence J. Dorr
Chair, José Cuatrecasas Medal Committee
National Museum of Natural History
Acceptance letter from Drs. Jerzy Rzedowski and Graciela Calderón de Rzedowski read by Victoria Sosa on the occasion of the presentation of the José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany at the 5nd Annual Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, 16 April 2005.
"We must apologize for not being able to accept the Department of Botany's generous invitation and to receive personally this significant award. We are grateful to the persons who made our nomination and to those who approved it. We thank Dr. Victoria Sosa for her acceptance and willingness to receive it in our representation.
"This distinction honors us very deeply and especially so on account of its tie with the name and the person of José Cuatrecasas. We were well acquainted with Cuatrecasas for many years and were particularly stimulated by his work. His inexhaustible dedication, as well as his permanent and contagious enthusiasm and his spirit of self-improvement were most appreciated. Cuatrecasas visited Mexico in 1972 and left valuable seeds in our botanical sphere. His open and unaffected personality, as well as his innate disposal to help and to collaborate, granted him an exceptional acceptance and friendship of his colleagues.
"The knowledge of the plant universe of intertropical regions of our Planet is still far from being complete, in spite of the efforts of numerous generations of botanists. It is our belief that the elaboration of reliable and critical floristic inventories constitutes one of the fundamental priorities of the biological research in our countries. Consequently we dedicated more than 40 years to such an activity. Hopefully, the results of this Symposium will propitiate and contribute to expand and render more efficient similar efforts, looking forward toward the production of a reasonably complete World Flora."
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