Local Pride, Global Impact

Since 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has brought together the best and brightest plant scientists from around the world to answer humanity’s most profound challenges. Today the Danforth Center is the largest organization of its kind, an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit founded to improve the human condition through plant science.

Our Mission

Improve the human condition through plant science.

Our Vision

We seek to feed the hungry and improve human health, while preserving and renewing our environment. Through our endeavors, we will enhance the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science.

Danforth Center Mission

Land Acknowledgment

The Danforth Center recognizes Indigenous Peoples as the traditional stewards of the land. The Danforth Center acknowledges that it is located on the ancestral and unceded homeland of the Osage people, who were removed unjustly. By recognizing the Osage people and their traditional homeland, we seek to express gratitude for their enduring stewardship of the land. We pay honor and respect to Osage ancestors past and present by committing to build a more inclusive and equitable space for all. 

When you visit the Danforth Center, we encourage you to view the flag of the Osage Nation in our flag gallery. Learn more about the Osage people and the ways in which we seek to honor them.

Our History

Science in the Service of Humanity

The Danforth Center is a diverse community of coworkers with a shared commitment to improve the human condition through plant science. More than 400 scientists from 35+ different countries work in teams focused on research at the nexus of food, energy, and the environment. We believe in the power of science to lift families, communities, and nations from poverty and empower people everywhere to enjoy better health and a higher quality of life.

A Legacy of Excellence

Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center was founded in 1998 to apply the highest level of plant science to solving the critical challenges confronting humanity. Dr. William H. Danforth was the founding chairman, and the Center was named after Dr. Danforth’s late father, Donald Danforth, former chief executive of Ralston Purina. The main building opened in 2001, and the William H. Danforth Wing was dedicated in 2016. Today, the Danforth Center is the largest independent non-profit institute dedicated to plant science in the world.