Maclean’s: “Plants Keep Time, Count and Know Themselves”


Great to see UBC chemistry professor Susan Murch, collaborator on the Plant Intelligence Project’s pedagogy, interviewed in Maclean’s for her research and her coordination of the first North American conference of the Society for Plant Signalling and Behaviour in Vancouver earlier this year. Murch has been wonderfully open to asking how language shapes the questions asked about the natural world.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Michael Pollan writes about the conference in the New Yorker – will post here as soon as it’s up.

Commenting on Monica Gagliano’s difficulty in publishing a paper in which she insists on using the word “plant learning,” Murch says, “I tell my students … you have to be brave.”


One response to this post.

  1. My wife, who knows about these things, tells me that if you cut down the first in a row of trees, the other trees in the row start preparing themselves — chemically, physiologically, whatever — to be better able to survive being cut down. That’s not just learning, that’s anticipating. Trees are slow, but they’re smart.


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