The phenomenon of ‘plant blindness’, where the vast majority of people give little or no recognition to the natural vegetation in their surroundings as living organisms, and certainly rank them as less significant than the animals present in any environment, is all too common. Most people tend to have only their personal interests at heart tending to recognise the importance of biomedical related research but little else, perhaps with some minor exceptions such as space exploration. Botanical studies are generally perceived to have no direct bearing on the wellbeing of humans. This, as many plant researcher will attest to, is also reflected in status as well as renumeration. Nevertheless, in 1868 in Bonn Darwin, Pasteur and Sachs (yes you might say, who is Sachs …) were ranked as equals. Julius Sachs is famous for his integrative view of a plant as an organism.
Nature Plants have an interesting brief of Julius Sachs in its latest issue which is free to access. More details can be found about him in a WikiPedia article.