As for research projects, students have worked in 42 countries on a variety of topics. The accompanying word clouds based on dissertation titles show a consistent interest in knowledge and medicinal plants (including entheogens) as key topics. Earlier foci on transmission, conservation, and Morocco have been replaced with new interests in biocultural diversity, food, and management. In the prevalence of “plant(s)” and “knowledge”, one can perhaps detect ethnobotany’s dual lineage, in economic botany and linguistic anthropology, and in “biocultural diversity” the promise of a more integrated ethnobotany. There appears to be a general decline in interest in ecological aspects of plant use and sustainability research, and a general increase in interest in traveling cultures, migrants and urban ethnobotany. The growing interest in food is in all aspects: agrobiodiversity, wild plants and foraging, food as medicine, home gardening and allotments, and food as identity for migrants. Overall, there is a strong desire to do projects that matter, that contribute directly to plant conservation, the maintenance of indigenous and local knowledge, or the livelihoods of marginalized peoples. While we have expected more, there has been only a smattering of digital ethnobotany projects, using, for example, online sources or methods, or studying online behaviour. But all of these are small majorities; actually, the diversity of projects is astounding, as the full word cloud shows.
Over 20 years, the programme has grown tremendously, and established a lively and productive network of people and institutions across the UK and beyond, a living ethnobotanical assemblage. For students, the programme has never been so intense, but as ethnobotany as a discipline has grown, as new intellectual trends have swept across academia, and as the world has changed, there seems to be more and more that students need and want to know. As a convenor, it’s difficult to make choices about what to include and where we should be leading. Of course, it’s made much easier by proactive students, who in many ways are increasingly setting the agenda. This is a good thing, and a necessary thing, as we look to pass on the programme to the next generation of teachers.