In the history of the Instituto de Botanica Darwinion can be recognized several times. The first one starts with the origin, which dates back to 1911, when the doctor Christopher M. Hicken organized Villa Progreso, from Saint Martin, including his lab.
In the 30s Hicken began construction of a new building in the Barrio Parque Aguirre in San Isidro. Already available when the move to new building, died suddenly on March 11, 1933, to 58 years of age. In his will established the legacy of Darwinion the government of the nation, by decree 40581 of April 19, 1934, accept the donation establishing quote:
The Darwinion is intended solely for scientific research on botany under the direction and administration of the Academy of Sciences and natural.
After a period of three years during which the Academy held the transfer of collections to the new building and the organization of the Institute on December 28, 1936 opened here on an important event. Begins a second period when he was appointed the agronomist Arturo Burkart as director of the Institute and was supported by an active group of collaborators. Burkart brilliantly directed the Institute for nearly four decades. With great dedication gradually transform the laboratory in a particular Hicken Botanical Institute of International Importance. With its constant action will increase the herbarium through field trips and exchange of duplicates, so great is the library, increasing the building and simultaneously make a significant work of high-level taxonomic research, forming disciples inside and outside the Institute.
In 1970, with the clear vision of Dr. A. Bernard Houssay, president of the CONICET, who knew well the crucial importance of Darwinion for the future of botany argentina, an agreement was signed between the CONICET and the National Academy of Sciences, Physical and Natural whereby the CONICET began supporting Economy to Darwirnion. Started well, bright third time for the Institute, where it was possible to make the acquisition of new instrumental, designating staff scientist in the research career, scholars and staff to support research. Unfortunately, shortly after starting this season was the death of Arturo Burkart, on April 25, 1975.
Shortly after he took over the Institute’s other outstanding international botanico highlighted Dr. Angel L. Cabrera, a specialist in composite excellent phytogeographical, which continued the work of enlargement of the institution and to carry out another extension of the building for what could be considered a 4A fifth period (1975-1982). During this period doubled the number of researchers and scholars and technical staff increased significantly, which improved several aspects of the work of the institution.
A 5 th period starts in 1983 when Dr. John H. Hunziker takes over the direction of the Institute with the collaboration of Juan C. Gamerro as Deputy Director. During this period (1983-1998), started new lines of research in the Darwinion: cytogenetics, palynology, embryology and systematic phylogeny. It highlights the increase in microscopy equipment, which includes fotomicroscopios, stereoscopic magnifying glasses, a scanning electron microscopy, etc. and a significant expansion in the building, consisting of six cabinet work, specifically in 1993. Finally, it should highlight the successful work undertaken to maintain and enhance the bibliographic institution.
From the year 1998, takes over the address, Dr. Fernando O. Zuloaga, with the collaboration of Dr. Osvaldo Morrone as Assistant Director. Continues with the traditional lines of research as well as with ongoing projects. Since 2000, it was incorporated as a new field of research in the institution two disciplines: Archaeobotany, molecular biology, economic botany and ethnobotany. In these two years will increase the number of fellows and technicians.
In 1988 the Institute received the designation of ‘Honorary Member’ of Miguel Lillo Foundation Award and 1989 National Academy of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine awarded by the Academy argentina. In September 2001, received the medal of honor “Fundacion Romulo Raggio,” awarded by the institutions of the most important botanical research in the country.
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