The Plant Initiative
Building a movement to increase respect for plants
Building a movement to increase respect for plants
The Plant Initiative invites you to a special online conversation with authors Paco Calvo and Natalie Lawrence on "Understanding Plant Intelligence"
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
12:00 – 1:00 PM CDT (US Central Time)
Online - Free Registration
Are plants intelligent?
Join authors Paco Calvo and Natalie Lawrence of the newly published book Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Intelligence for a conversation on the latest findings on plant intelligence and sentience, moderated by Laura Pustarfi, board member of The Plant Initiative.
There will be time for questions from the audience following the discussion. The program will be introduced by Plant Initiative board member Giovanni Aloi and livestreamed with a link to be sent to participants before the event. It will also be recorded and available for viewing online afterwards.
About Paco Calvo and Natalie Lawrence:
Paco Calvo is Professor of Philosophy of Science and PI of the Minimal Intelligence Laboratory (MINTLab) at the University of Murcia (Spain). He does research in the philosophy of plant neurobiology, ecological psychology and embodied cognitive science. Prof. Calvo studies the ecological basis of plant intelligence by conducting experimental studies at the intersection of the areas of plant neurobiology and ecological psychology. His lab uses time-lapse photography to observe plant shoots navigational capacities, and to critically explore the theoretical underpinnings of cognitivist interpretations of plants' adaptive behavior. His articles have appeared in Annals of Botany, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Biology & Philosophy, Frontiers in Neurorobotics, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, Journal of the Royal Society, Plant, Cell & Environment, Plant Signaling & Behavior and Trends in Plant Science, among other journals.
Natalie Lawrence is an author and illustrator who explores our relationship with the natural world, looking through multiple lenses - from the biological to the psychoanalytic. She has a first-class MCantab in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, during which she spent most of her time in the Zoology department. She then succumbed to the dark side (Arts), receiving a MSc and Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. She’s given a TEDX talk, been featured on BBC Women’s Hour and has work published in BBC Wildlife, New Scientist, Aeon Magazine and others. She currently lives in London and writes in a room filled with plants and specimens from her natural history collection, from megalodon teeth to hornbill skulls. Occasionally she is joined by live giant silkmoths.
About the book:
What is it like to be a plant?
It's not a question we might think to contemplate, even though many of us live surrounded by plants. Science has long explored the wonderful ways in which plants communicate, behave and shape their environments: from chemical warfare to turning their predators to cannibalism. But they're often just the backdrop to our frenetic animal lives.
While plants may not have brains or move around as we do, cutting-edge science is revealing that they have astonishing inner worlds of an alternate kind to ours. They can plan ahead, learn, recognize their relatives, assess risks and make decision. They can even be put to sleep. Innovative new tools might allow us to actually see them do these things - from electrophysiological recordings to MRI and PET scans. If you can look in the right way, a world full of drama unfurls.
In Planta Sapiens, Professor Paco Calvo and cowriter author and illustrator Natalie Lawrence offer a bold new perspective on plant biology and cognitive science. Using the latest research findings, Calvo and Lawrence challenge us to make an imaginative leap into a world that is so close and yet so alien - one that will expand our understanding of our own minds.From their rich subjective experiences to how they are inspiring novel ways of approaching the ecological crisis, Planta Sapiens is a dazzling exploration of the lives of plants and a call to approach how we think about the natural world in a new, maverick way.
Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Intelligence can be purchased here or at your favorite bookseller.
We hope that you will join us for this unique free event!
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