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Lessons from plants

A café climatique event

Beronda Montgomery in conversation with David George Haskell

We know that plants are important. They maintain the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. They nourish other living organisms and supply psychological benefits to humans as well, improving our moods and beautifying the landscape around us. But plants don’t just passively provide. They also take action. In this conversation, molecular biologist Beronda Montgomery and award-winning nature writer David George Haskell will enter into the depth of botanic experience and show how we might improve human society by better appreciating not just what plants give us but also how they achieve their own purposes. What would it mean to learn from these organisms, to become more aware of our environments and to adapt to our own worlds by calling on perception and awareness? In short: What would a plant do?  

Beronda L. Montgomery is MSU Foundation Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology, she was named one of Cell’s 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America. Her new book Lessons from Plants is published in April by Harvard University Press. berondamontgomery.com / twitter.com/BerondaM

David George Haskell’s work integrates scientific, literary, and contemplative studies of the natural world. His latest book, The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors (2017), examines the many ways that trees and humans are connected. Haskell has also written about biology, ethics, and human culture for the New York Times and other publications. dghaskell.comtwitter.com/dghaskell



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