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Botany books: Dr M’s late stocking fillers!

OK, Christmas stockings have been well and truly emptied now, so Dr M browses the library shelves for New Year botany gifts. If it’s plant ID books you are looking for then check Dr M’s review here. If its botany of the more literary and philosophical variety then read on! First up is “From Roots to Riches” the book of the landmark BBC radio
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We eat, sleep and breathe plants so why are we blind to them?

On Monday 13th April, Dr M appeared at Cafe Scientifique a joint venture between The British Science Association Thames Valley Branch and the University of Reading at Monroes Rock Bar St Mary’s Butts, Reading Town Centre. Cafe Scientifique is the place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (beer if you’re Dr M), anyone can come to explore the
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Dr Ms eXtreme botanical birthday message!

It’s Dr M’s Birthday and he has been enjoying special Dr M birthday cookies lovingly hand-crafted by his devoted nieces: A well as eating and drinking and partying, birthdays are times of celebration and reflection, and so to all his botanical students, colleagues, disciples and followers and indeed, the whole world, Dr M sends this birthday message of peace, love and eXtreme botanical joy:
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What is the point of plants? Or the soldier who preferred flowers to guns

Do you know the muffin man… sorry I’ll start again. Do you know the “Infinite Monkey Cage”? Well, if not it’s a Radio 4 programme with Brian Cox (you know, the Professor of Particle Physics who’s a bit like God, he’s everywhere and everything and probably pretty much infinite too, I’m sure the BBC producers hope so as they seem to be on to a
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Oliver Rackham: historical ecologist extraordinaire 1939-2015

Corpus Christi College Cambridge report with great sadness the death of Oliver Rackham OBE MA PhD FBA, on 12 February 2015, aged 75 years. Professor of Historical Ecology, Botanist, Master of the College 2007-8, Fellow of the College 1964-2007 and 2008-2010, Honorary Fellow 2008-2015 and Life Fellow 2010-2015, Oliver Rackham was an extraordinary man and an extraordinary academic. Oliver Rackham studied and wrote with great
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Saving UK Botany is team work!

Dr M is stuck in a train somewhere near Slough as he heads to the second meeting of the UK Plant Science Federation working group on training and skills to save UK botany from oblivion! Important work this and fortunately he is not alone, the working group has no fewer than sixteen keen and able people botanically beavering away on the issues and outcomes.
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OMG! there’s an #iamabotanist in my computer! Correction, shed-loads of ‘em!

Dr M has been enjoying a recent burst of virtual botanical activity on Twitter stimulated by Dr Chris Martine launching the hashtag #iamabotanist which has seen a great response from botanists and non-botanists and spouses and so on all proudly posting pictures and telling the Twitter world who and where they are and what they are up to (botanically speaking!). There has been a tiny
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Botany trending on Twitter: #iamabotanist!

At last Twitter is alive with the sound of botany! Or at least the dulcet tones of a podcast from Dr Chris Martine of Bucknell University in the USA and a host of hashtags proclaiming #iamabotanist and #reclaimthename.


Shed-loads of botany on BBC Radio 4!

You’ve got to admire the timing, just as UK’s most prestigious botanical research centre, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, faces  a public outcry over budget cuts, the new Director Professor Kathy Willis presents not one, not two or three but twenty-five programmes about botany, and all on prime-time BBC Radio 4 – in the hallowed slot just before the Archers!


National Trust’s 50 things to do outside with the kids – let’s have more eXtreme botany?!

The National Trust has gone crazy wild about getting the nation’s kids outside at the weekend so they’ve put together a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ along with the 50 place finder to locate great places to do them, woods, fields, hills, caves, ponds and streams! They want to encourage kids to get mucky, discover their wild side and get closer to
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