The end of the 20th century has seen the emergence of major and exciting new directions and tools in plant systematics — literally a revolution or re-invention of systematics. In summarizing these advances as reviewed in part by the previous speakers, the reciprocal impact of systematics to other biological and/or evolutionary fields is examined — these including communication of biodiversity, conservation biology, ecology, developmental biology, population genetics, genomics, and molecular biology. Although plant systematic biology is increasingly ‘borrowing’ from these fields, in return these fields are to some extent being shaped, enriched, or even re-invigorated with this interaction. But we do not "borrow" these tools wholecloth but only in parts, we often ask different questions with those tools and subsequently influence those other disciplines. But what is in store for the next 50 years of systematics? A more thorough revolution for systematics, in our view, would not be making phylogeny/monophyly, for example, "central" to systematics (since that is merely one way to do history from many ways to do history); instead a more radical revolution would be a return to the pluralism of Clausen, Keck and Hiesey — who modeled ecotypes, morphotypes, phylotypes. The CKH system failed because systematists then and now want to have "one system" — perhaps it is time to explore other systems. The new systematics would be not reifying parsimony or ML — but rather, challenging tree-like representations and evolving a "meta theory" that links dynamically these webs of disciplines. The model organism of the future may not be Arabidopsis but complex chimeric organisms like lichens; the genomic projects are showing that at some level we are all chimeric.

Key words: pluralism, prospectus, synthesis, systematics