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Great Botanists

Dr M discovers Gerard’s herbal – in Reading’s Oxfam bookshop!

Dr M’s favourite place in Reading is the Oxfam music shop in the Town centre where you can find, amongst others, second hand CDs, vinyls and sheet music aplenty. A visit this sunny saturday yielded nothing especially tempting and so Dr M journeyed across the road to the Oxfam bookshop were he was intrigued by a copy of Gerard’s herbal in the glass cabinet reserved
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A suitable case for Dr M ‘s next ID quiz?

Dr M is particularly fond of plant ID quizzes and so, it seems, is everybody else (in the whole world!) judging by Dr M’s dramatic peaks in visits to drmgoeswild.com for his recent quizzes on summer flowers and grasses! So, as Dr M prepares for his next quiz (scheduled for September) he got thinking, what would be a suitable topic to follow summer flowers and
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Fascination of Plants Day with Dr M and friends at the University of Reading!

Monday 18th May 2015 was the 3rd International Fascination of Plants Day established to provide a global focus for celebrating the wonders of the plant world. At the University of Reading Dr M together with palaeoecologist Dr Macarena Cardenas celebrated FoPD with colleagues and students from the School of Biological Sciences and School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science as well as a special guest Professor John
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Celebrating women botanists – International Women’s day and all days!

With International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March Dr M is wondering, could botany be the most gender neutral profession? It would be nice to think so, but a glance into botanical history suggests otherwise. Back in the 18th century, dallying with Linnaeus’ sexual system of plant taxonomy and classification was certainly considered an unsuitable occupation for a lady!

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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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!

Dr M meets a great 18th century polymath and botanist, but who is he?

During the 71 years of my highly productive lifetime I: Said “A fool you know, is a man who never tried an experiment in his life”

Dr M’s Glimpses of Great Botanists: E.J.H. Corner on the Leguminosae

Dr M loves it when this happens! Stumbling upon some writing which leaves him speechless, thinking: “Oh my! What eXtreme creative botanical mind was at work there?”

Peter Sell: Botanist extraordinaire (1929-2013)

We cannot afford to lose our brilliant botanists, here Dr M reflects on the news of the death of Peter Sell late of the University of Cambridge Herbarium and botanist extraordinaire.