“I am very glad that the organization of the XVI CBFV has proposed a debate of ideas about the directions of Plant Physiology. In my opinion, a debate constructed from different points of view, but based on solid arguments and within the spirit of cordiality that is inherent to the academy, shows that we are growing up as a scientific society. In the last two decades molecular biology has played an increasingly important role in studies of Plant Physiology, to the point where some research groups call themselves "molecular physiologists". Does this expression represent a new science? Or would it be just an expression for studies of biochemistry applied to problems related to plant metabolism? What does the construction of the idea of a "molecular physiology" really mean? Are we at the end of plant physiology as a botanical science? Where is the plant itself in all this? These are some of the possible questions that I want to explore in the debate about the relationship between plant physiology and molecular biology. I intend to discuss the concept of plant physiology and show how this concept is dependent on the scientific paradigm on which it is constructed. From this, different scientific proposals, equally valid (even antagonistic in some aspects and complementary in others), can be identified. Finally, the question remains: What kind of plant physiologist would you like to be?
Gustavo M. Souza - Brazil