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Plants and Civilization

Saturday 9 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Plant curator Stephen Harris explains the important role played by plants in civilization and how much we depend on products derived from them.

Plants are fundamental to the food we eat, the medicines we take; even the air we breathe. We daily come into contact with products derived from more than 50 different plant species. Some of these plants are native to Britain; the vast majority have been introduced. We depend on plants or plant products that have migrated to our shores. Harris describes how plants have played important roles in the development of western civilization ranging from farming, medical and bureaucratic systems, through economics, transportation and energy to science and art.

Harris is Druce Curator of the Oxford University Herbaria and a university research lecturer. He is author of What Have Plants Ever Done for Us? Western Civilization in Fifty Plants.

Presented by the Bodleian Libraries