The Smarty Plants Episode

Smarty Plants - The feeling is mutual - image

This post reaches back to a year or so ago to grab this piece for the PIP archive.

I think plant intelligence getting its own Nature of Things episode was a big deal: a moment of visibility in the popular imaginary that suggests the timeliness of the question. David Suzuki says!

‘“Twenty years ago just uttering the words behavior and plants in the same sentence would have resulted in scientific excommunication … And that’s because for a long time, I think, we were hung up on the fact that plants are sessile, they don’t move, or at least we don’t see them move. And because of who we are, I think we’ve always equated behavior, even intelligence, with movement,”’ says ecologist JC Cahill.

Right on, Dr. Cahill. UBC forestry prof Suzanne Simard was also involved in this episode. Represent!

As you know, I’m more interested in what we can rethink about intelligence in ourselves once we look at the plants. Oh, the humanist bias. But onward.


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