Plants, People & Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany

“Plants seem to transform human cultures… It’s almost as if they have a way of uniting us.”

— Dr. Paul Alan Cox

In this conversation, Michael J. Balick and Paul Alan Cox, two of the world’s leading ethnobotanists, speak about their newly released book, Plants, People & Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany; share stories of their fieldwork in remote villages around the world; and discuss the ways our past and our future are deeply intertwined with plants.

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Michael Balick is Vice President and Director of the Institute of Economic Botany and Senior Philecology Curator at The New York Botanical Garden. He has studied the relationship between plants, people, and culture in the Amazon Valley, Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania. He is a longtime member of the American Botanical Council Board of Trustees.

Paul Alan Cox, recognized by Time Magazine as a “Hero of Medicine” for his ethnobotanical search for new medicines, was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for his conservation efforts with indigenous peoples. He founded the island conservation organization Seacology and is Director of the Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is a  longtime member of the American Botanical Council Advisory Board.

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