Sparking wonder and promoting curiosity is something I think and write a lot about. For instance wrapping up AAAS 2016, AAAS 2017 and SciComm Camp. Curiosity sparks internal motivation to explore out the world, or one small part of it, at least. We’re here for too little time to experience it all. A curious culture – open to … More In Defense of Curiosity and Science.
There are 400,000 known species of plants on Earth. 350,000 are flowering plants. How do we know? How does plant go from unknown to known? Someone, a person, has to notice. To think it matters. There have been countless botanists throughout human history observing the natural world. Plant collection and documentation got to be big … More Uncovering what’s there.
Voyager 2 launched on August 20th, 1977. Voayger one followed on September 5th, 1977. In between that, I was born. So I’ve always sort had a fondness for these missions that I grew up with. As I did, the Voyager missions are 40 and though largely finished with their mission of exploring the outer … More The Voyager Generation
The world (the United States at least) seems utterly divided and the neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville last weekend as well as other events this week has made me despair and wonder if there’s a bright future or not, and so I’m going to write a story. And it is the story of us – of … More The Dynamic and Unifying Force of Science.
Humans are inspired by nature in all sorts of ways. A substantial part of that natural world is the plants surrounding us. Some common, most rare, and many found medicinally useful to humans. Even some “useless” plants like Arabidopsis, thale cress, a mustard weed, has contributed human health through its place as a research organism. … More The State of The World’s Medicinal Plants
Give up on that riddle? Well, you’re right in thinking there’s not a lot in common between them. All life is connected, however, some is just further apart on the evolutionary bush than others. One is an animal, one is a plant. A lot of evolution and an endosymbiont (the chloroplast plants have that animals … More How is a Naked Mole Rat Like a Plant?
This is a guest post by Kimberly McCoy. If you’ve ever seen a tree trunk frothing like a dog with rabies, don’t worry, it won’t bite. I recently came across a tree that had a white, bubbling liquid oozing slowly from its bark, and no idea what it was. I saw these two oozing river … More Odd Oozing From The Trees
The professor that got me into plant biology, taught me plant physiology, and in a many ways helped me develop my technical writing ability is retiring this year. Gary Tallman, PhD is retiring from being the Taul Watanabe endowed Professor of Biology at Willamette University in Salem, OR, but has had a long career in … More Guard Cells Tolerating Heat
George Washington Carver was a lot more than peanuts. He was born a slave, in Missouri, during the American Civil War and died in the middle of World War II. In between, he was part of creating a more sustainable farming system, particularly for poor African American farmers in the South. Carver essentially had a … More George Washington Carver, Planter of Productive Farmers.
Letter to a farmer from a plant scientist sharing values we share and why scientists say the world is warming up and how that links to local experiences. … More To a Farmer From a Plant Scientist