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Preface

The Plant World, like the other volumes in the Encyclopedia of Science, deals with a specific subject, in this case, botany. It begins with the various approaches to the science and introduces the basic life processes of plants. The categories of plants from the simplest to the most highly evolved are described, as well as how these plants have adapted to their environmental conditions. The economic uses of the plant kingdom are also included in the text and lead to a final discussion of the exploitation and threatened extinction of plants and the consequent need for their conservation.

The editorial approach

The object of the Encyclopedia of Science is to explain for adults and children alike the many aspects of science that are not only fascinating in themselves but are also vitally important for an understanding of the world today. To achieve this, the books in this series are straightforward and concise, accurate in content, and are clearly and attractively presented.

The often forbidding appearance of traditional science publications has been completely avoided in the Encyclopedia of Science. Approximately equal proportions of illustrations and text make even the most unfamiliar subjects interesting and attractive. Even more important, all of the drawings have been created specially to complement the text, each explaining a topic that can be difficult to understand through the printed word alone.

The thorough application of these principles has created a publication that covers its subject in an interesting and stimulating way, and that will prove to be an invaluable work of reference and education for many years to come.

The advance of science

One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of science is that its frontiers are constantly being revised and extended, and new developments are occurring all the time. Its advance depends largely on observation, experimentation, and debate, which generate theories that have to be tested and even then stand only until they are replaced by better concepts. For this reason, it is difficult for any science publication to be completely comprehensive. It is possible, however, to provide a thorough foundation that ensures that any such advances can be comprehended. It is the purpose of each book in this series to create such a foundation, by providing all the basic knowledge in the particular area of science it describes.