A Cure for Plant Blindness


Key Points

We’re fully dependent on corn, 69% of the carbon in ones own body can be traced directly to the corn products that we eat. We’re dependent on corn and corn is dependent on us.
Wheat, rice and corn make up of 42% of the worlds calorie requirements.
The other 58% of the worlds calorie requirements are made up of roughly only 30 plants –  our diet is not diverse. What about all the other plants we’re ignorant to?
Irish potato famine, causing the death of a million people and the immigration of another million people, cutting the population by 25%. I recently visited Ellis Island in New York, this island was breathtaking and conveyed hope and prospect of new beginnings to the Irish immigrants who came over. 
Great american corn famine – that did not happen – in 1971. A fungus disease destroyed all the corn, luckily plant scientists got their act together and resolved the issue so the next year we had enough corn that we needed to survive. If plant scientists hadn’t resolved the issue could we have had a similar disaster to that of the Irish potato famine?  If we do not continue botanical studies in universities will there be a plant scientist in the future to combat similar problems?
Over 50% of plant scientists working for American government will be retiring in 15 years, there is no plan to replace them.
Botany used to be in the school curriculum, on a fairly technical level. Collecting plants, learning the technical names, making specimens and they took an exam at the end of the year. High school no longer contains any botany, apart from a small amount on photosynthesis. And why? Because the teachers themselves are not educated, there is no botany being taught in colleges and universities are reducing the number of botany courses. How can we get children interested in botany?
Botany and biology are being combined. Is botany not a large enough topic on its own?
The royal botanic societies membership peaked in 1975. #Iamabotanist
There is no charisma in botany. How can I as an illustrator give plants and flowers charisma?
Chia Pets, introduce children to plants growing.
Leaf Snap, a free app which through shape recognition recognises plants and gives you information.  – http://www.nhm.ac.uk/take-part/identify-nature/leafsnap-uk-app.html
Have you thanked a green plant today? The green world and man cannot get along without each other. The more this vital link is realised today, the better our world can be.



TEDx Talks, 2014, A Cure for Plant Blindness | Margaret Conover | TEDxSBU, Online Video, 17 December 2014, Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUzrRo1T274, Accessed: 31 January 2017.



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