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Re: hosta-open DIGEST V1 #400

I'm sure you'll be thrilled that I'm willing to take another shot at your basic premise.

First, you liken the situation in the NALS to what is occurring in the hosta society.  What situation is occurring in the hosta society?  I'm not aware of any great controversy on this matter. Your friend Ben sometimes complains that the Journal doesn't publish enough of his research, and other authors sometimes indicate that their articles don't get published, but other than that, I don't remember a controversy.  I think it's apparent from your past postings that you're not a big fan of the plant societies, you've mentioned several times that you don't belong to the AHS, and you don't seem to be happy with the AHS or the NALS either.  That's fine, these societies obviously don't appeal to everyone and there's no reason you can't criticize or make suggestions, but in this case, I think you're stretching things a bit.

Second, the AHS Journal does not ignore hybridizing or the "science" of hostas.  It's where most of us learned about BAP, streaking in hostas, how variegation works, nematode control and any number of other subjects that have nothing to do with how pretty hostas are.

The first 52 pages of HostaScience cover the following four topics:

Cytokinin-induced Propagation: from Kinetin to Tbidiazuron. Review and Prospectus

Tbidiazuron (TDZ) Preeminent for the Enhanced Propagation of Juvenile
H. 'Dorothy Benedict' Seedlings

Tbidiazuron (TDZ) Offset Induction Formidable in Mature H. 'American Halo'

BA-induced Offsets in Juvenile H. 'Love Pat' from Tissue Culture Liners

The basic premise of your question supposes that a significant number of AHS society members would like to see 52 pages of the Journal devoted to such information and that the lack of scientific articles in the Journal is causing some sort of problem for the Society.  

I think it's less a problem that our replies don't have too much effect on your premise, but that the premise is wrong in the first place.  There is no hue and cry for this kind of information from the vast majority of members.  I think just the opposite is true.  I think the Journal's practice of publishing information on "scientific" subjects, without necessarily detailing the underlying research, meets the needs of the vast majority of the membership.. Personally, I would like to see more technical information in the Journal, but there are probably even more people who would like to see more information about new cultivars and other non-technical topics. As far as I can remember, the only cry from the masses has been for more pictures.  

The results of this kind of research belong in the Journal, but not the kind of articles that HostaScience is publishing. The information and the results of  the studies usually find their way into the Journal without the mind numbing pages of charts, graphs, and references that are needed in a scientific publicaton. For those who don't know what I'm refering to, if you have a copy of the Fall, 1999 Journal, look at pages 85, 86, 91,92,93, and 94. I understand that the information on these pages is vital to any scientific article, but nobody read them and they don't belong in the AHS Journal.  I don't have a copy of HostaScience yet, but I would be curious how many of those first 52 pages are  filled with charts and references that would be of absolutely no interest to the vast majority of  Journal readers.  This information is vital in scientific publications, and these articles need to be published, but I don't think the Journal has ever pretended to be a scientific publication and I don't think that's what the members want it to be.  

For the minority of us who are interested in the details, we just get out the check book and subscribe to HostaScience.  I still think it would be even better to put it on the web, but my check is on the way.


halinar@open.org wrote:

Thanks for the clarification, but I don't think it has too much effect
on the basic premise of the question I asked. The North American Lily
Society has had a situtation not unlike what is occuring in the hosta
society. There is a very strong interest in the species lilies, but
the NALS completely failed to address this interest. As a result a
new and seperate group formed and it increases in membership, despite
some of it's own problems, while NALS membership falls. There is
absolutely no reason why the information published in the species
group newsletter can't be published in the NALS publications. By the
way things are going it's not unreasonable that someday in the future
that the species group may eclipse the original, main society. It
seems to me that the hosta society is being rather narrow minded in
not addressing a major interest of a significent number of its
I'll again rely on what Ed Elslager wrote in his introduction to 

"You may be aware that recent changes in scientific policy in The 
Hosta Journal preclude the future publication of original scientific
articles such as those published recently on hormone-induced
propagation, Hosta College student research, and hybridization.

Now, how many potential new members are going to be inspired to join
the society, or maintain a membership if the only thing that is going
to be published is socially related material such as garden visits.

"The specific aims of the journal HostaScience are:
To provide rapid communication of important, relevant, and timely
science-related information on hosta biology, biochemistry,
cultivation, hybridization, and propagation to home gardeners,
hybridizers, students, growers, nurserymen, and scientists;

Can't that be part of the Hosta Journal? If there is enough interest
in this type of material that a seperate and independent journal can
be published and maintain a decent membership base, isn't the hosta
society failing its membership base by not offering this type of
information? The fact that the interest is there seems to be self
evident to me.

To promote collaboration and the interchange of ideas and information 
among these investigators;

Sounds like the Hosta Journal could be the perfect venue for this

To stimulate experimentation and research by amateur and professional 
hosta devotees alike;

And what better place to publish articles about such reasearch then in
the Hosta Journal. I realize the Hosta Journal may not want to
publish high end scientific research that is directed to the academic
and research community, but there is a LOT of hosta related material
of a scientific nature that is not high science that would be welcomed
by a significent number of Journal readers.

To encourage, assist, and facilitate publication of the results of 
these studies;

Isn't part of the reason for the existance of the Hosta Society is
that it is suppose to promote the genus Hosta. What better way then
to actually publish articles about hostas.

Therefore, it would be incorrect to characterize the journal 
HostaScience as a publication dedicated to hosta hybridization; that
is just one of many topics to be covered.

In effect, isn't the HostaScience journal and the hybridizers group
competing with the Hosta Society if hosta hybridizing is only one of
many topics to be covered. How many different hosta groups do I have
to join to get all the information that could easily be published in
one journal?

I guess my basic question is why is the Hosta Society shooting it self
in the foot and then aiming the gun to it's head with an almost full

BTW, are you related to any Christensen's from Long Island, NY.

Joe Halinar

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