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October 22, 2016

Plants: From Roots To Riches – Episode 2 of 25


Created in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and presented by Kew’s Director of Science, Professor Kathy Willis, this BBC Radio 4 production features unprecedented access to the rich heritage and ongoing work of scientists at one of the world’s oldest botanical institutions. The 25-part series begins by delving into Kew’s archive and its world-class collections – including the herbarium of over seven million preserved plant specimens – to tell the story of how modern botany was born around the time of Kew’s establishment in 1759. It will go on to examine how subsequent changes in scientific, economic and social preoccupations have influenced our attitudes to plants – from tools to exploit for food, fuel and industry, to objects of beauty, to being an essential global resource that must be conserved.

Episode 2 - Plants to Shape Society

The 18th century botanical impresario Sir Joseph Banks was convinced that Britain's destiny was as the major civilising power in the world, and this could be achieved by harnessing botany and imperial progress to each other's mutual benefit.


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