In a 1958 essay at the conference which was to found the Society for Economic Botany, David J. Rogers wrote, "A current viewpoint is that economic botany should concern itself with basic botanical, phytochemical and ethnological studies of plants known to be useful or those which may have potential uses so far underdeveloped. Economic botany is, then, a composite of those sciences working specifically with plants of importance to [people]." Closely allied with economic botany is ethnobotany, a growing field which emphasizes plants in context of the anthropological sciences. Some would say that science is what scientists do, perhaps the best defintion of economic botany is found in the work presented in our journal and at annual meetings of the Society.
ECONOMIC BOTANY, was founded in 1947 by Edmund H. Fulling at the New York Botanical Garden. William J. Robbins, then Director of the Garden, wrote in the first issue that this new botanical magazine would ";....serve as a common meeting place for botanists interested primarily in fundamental principles and others who are concerned with economic applications of those principles and with the industrial utlization of plants and plant products.
ECONOMIC BOTANY, is a quarterly international journal devoted to the publication of original research, review papers, historical studies, and book reviews. Recent issues have included such topics as ethnobotanical and phytochemical studies, research on origin and evolution of crop plants, the ecology and history of traditional food plants, and studies on arid land plants with potential for local development.