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The Botanical Museum of Harvard University and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences jointly sponsored a symposium in May 1968 on “Plants in the Development of Modern Medicine.” This volume gathers together the papers written by eleven of the twelve experts attending the meeting who represented six countries and who employed widely differing disciplines in focusing on the single topic. As editor of this work and a contributor to it, Tony Swain defines the broad scope of the meeting—from man’s magico-religious concern with drugs and disease to the practical problems of isolating and identifying the specific compounds of potential medicinal use. Attesting to the pervading interdisciplinary aspect of present-day investigation, this study places major emphasis on the anthropological and pharmacological approaches to research.