Inspiring innovation from tradition

During the year 2011, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Dr. Peter H. Raven, joined the Honorary Board of the Institute. Besides the recognition of the activity of the Institute, his presence is a sign of the vitality of the Institute and will certainly contribute to further consolidate and expand its activity.

The Founding Board of Trustees of the Institute has reached the term of its three-year tenure. The Institute is recruiting new Trustees who will actively participate in its expansion and will help build the economic basis required to sustain its growth.

To meet the expectations it has generated, the Institute has been actively engaged in organizing a wide-ranging fundraising campaign. To sustain the pace of its rapid expansion, it needs to stabilize the employment of its executive staff and to reinforce its potential by hiring administration and library support personnel. Also–and by no means less important–the Institute plans to offer grants and fellowships to support students who wish to engage in the field of medical tradition studies, who will become the next generation of scholars and scientists, and who will take the torch.

During the past year, the Institute has significantly expanded its basis. Membership increased dramatically and is now three times what it was at the beginning of the year. Individuals have signed up from all over the world and will be soon more than one hundred. At the same time, donations from individuals have increased enormously, and have provided the Institute with an operation budget that allows it to perform its activities. Complementary, the Institute has applied for–and has been granted– membership in United Way of the National Capital Area. Its presence in both the Combined Federal Campaign (also known as CFC) of the National Capital Area and United Way will help the Institute in its outreach effort.

Education has taken a new dimension during the year 2011. The Institute has started its Medical Traditions Seminar. This bi-monthly seminar, held on Friday from 04:00 to 06:00 pm (and later, since the conversations often continue afterwards), gives an opportunity to graduate students enrolled in local universities (Georgetown and George Washington) to be trained in Medical Traditions. The Seminar is often attended by occasional Visitors who bring a different, yet complementary contribution that enriches the variety of approaches.

Given the expansion of its activity and the success of its educational programs, the Institute is proactively seeking a new location that will enable it to better provide its education services and accommodate the need of space generated by its constant growth, including the Historia Plantarum library.

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