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Festival of Politics 2021
20 to 24 October
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Saturday, October 23, 2021

In Conversation with Professor Suzanne Simard

Time: 7:30pm to 8:30pm

The Presiding Officer will speak with world-renowned scientist Professor Suzanne Simard about her revolutionary work, her life, and the fascinating world of Mother Trees that enable our human survival.

Free

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Event information

Join the Presiding Officer in conversation with Prof Suzanne Simard, Professor of Ecology at the University of British Columbia who is credited as transforming the world’s understanding of trees. She was the scientist who discovered that every tree in a forest is linked by underground fungi, allowing them to communicate and build communities around powerful, nurturing Mother Trees.

Today her work is taken as scientific orthodoxy and has inspired countless researchers, writers, and filmmakers, including James Cameron, Robert Macfarlane and Richard Powers, who based a character on Simard in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Overstory. It is also rumoured that Professor Simard is the subject of a Hollywood bio-pic starring Amy Adams; and her TED Talks have racked up millions of views.

Despite her ground-breaking discoveries, she was initially dismissed by the male-dominated scientific establishment of the day. It would be years until the world took her ideas seriously: in 1997, a landmark paper in the journal Nature coined the term Wood Wide Web to describe her work, marking the dawn of a new era of ecological awareness.

Join the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alison Johnstone MSP, and Professor Simard to discuss her revolutionary work, her life; and the fascinating world of Mother Trees that enable our human survival.

Photo by Diana Markosian

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