Tonight’s lecture, What a Plant Knows, is based on a book of the same name by Daniel Chamovitz. We’re really excited, because it’s like Chamovitz really wanted to title it “Shit Plants Say” and couldn’t, seeing that he’s always surrounded by smart people in his work as director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University. It’s probably for the best. “I feel like I just crapped out another tomato,” might be what some plants say, but that’s just hearsay. Chamovitz, however, knows what a plant knows. And what does a plant know? The weather, for one. And when an insect is walking on it, or when its neighbor has been attacked by beetles. And when you play music for that plant? It knows what you are doing — and if you know how to look at it (like Chamovitz knows), you can tell whether the plant prefers Zeppelin to Bach. Chamovitz even gives us a plant’s equivalent of our senses: smell, sight, touch, sound, and memory. What a Plant Knows promises to be the wildest look into plant consciousness we’ve seen, and it probably deserves a good listen (and read) before “Shit Plants Say” stands a chance on Tumblr. Anyone?
Tue., June 12, 7 p.m., 2012