This little machine at Gare du Nord prints out a short story to read on the train...

New #OpenAccess journal Plant Perspectives: “a new forum, grounded in interdisciplinary plant studies, to explore plant–human interactions in all spatial, temporal and cultural contexts.“ #PlantStudies #EnvHum

the new issue of Environmental Humanities is out, which is always a treat and also open access, so it's free to read.

Do take a look at the Plant Humanities report compiled by researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Commissioned by the UK's AHRC, the report outlines important new directions for humanities research in botanical gardens and institutions worldwide.

'When we do not find a particular vegetable useful to the human species, we are apt to regard it in too insignificant a light; so by many are esteemed most of the funguses, whereas they afford sustenance to a numerous tribe of the animal creation, a variety of insects'.
Botanical Dialogues (1797).

18th-century botanist, Maria Elizabeth Jacson, anticipates current research into the importance of fungi in ecosystems.

If you're interested in trees, humans and the environment, do watch Salomé Jashi's extraordinary, luminous documentary, Taming the Garden. This is slow cinema at its finest.
Also recommended is this 'Film at the Lincoln Center' interview with Jashi:


You just pin your last tweet, Pete,
Request your archive, Clive,
You don’t need a blue tick, Vic,
Just get yourself free.

Hop on the tusk, Gus,
You don’t need to delete much,
Except your DMs, Jen,
And get yourself free.

Use Debirdify, Di,
Provide some alt tags, Mags,
Add a content warning, Tim,
To post sensitively.

Remember to boost,Ruth,
You don't need to deny truth,
Just drop off the perch,Dirk,
And get yourself free.
#VerseThursday #TwitterMigration #FediTips

In 1840 Missouri, Albert Koch dug up a cache of fossilised mastodon bones. People flocked to see the 'Missouri Leviathan' as it toured USA and Europe. But in recreating the skeleton, Koch added wooden inserts to double its size, and fixed the tusks the wrong way round.
I guess mistakes do happen when mastodons grow very big and become very popular!

Eilidh Stimpson discovered a 135-year-old message rolled up inside an empty whisky bottle beneath her floorboards at her home in Edinburgh.
Signed and dated by two male workers, the message read: “James Ritchie and John Grieve laid this floor, but they did not drink the whisky. October 6th 1887. Who ever finds this bottle may think our dust is blowing along the road.”

This literature clock is the most wonderful thing I’ve seen in a long time. Checking the time becomes a moment of pure joy 😍


Rivers meander over their course as they continuously erode and deposit sediment. Harold Fisk, a geologist and cartographer working for the US Army Corps of Engineers, mapped the meanders of the mighty Mississippi in 1944 and the results are mesmerizing. They also beautifully illustrate geology’s Law of Superposition: newer and younger sediments are deposited on top of older sediments. We see thousand of years of course changes. You can unravel the layers by eye by noting which layer cuts others

Just discovered Maxwell Armfield's wonderful 1915 poster for the London Underground (and Kew Gardens).
Love the visual-verbal pun of the cockatoo and its rhyming squawked phrase: 'Go to Kew'!

Wherein @MHarrisP[email protected] asks me about #plasticpollution & ♻️ & the negotiations beginning THIS MONTH in Uruguay towards a UN #PlasticsTreaty & I happily oblige by babbling on & on like the star-struck fangirl I am ✨— thank you Melissa & @[email protected] crew.

Today on EHN: A piece by Lidia Ponce de la Vega about her work to help further diversify and decolonize the biodiversity-related record of digital archives like the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

#EnvHist #EnvHum #Histodons

Intro: I'm a social scientist interested in exploring the ways in which colonial histories continue to shape the present.

I run a number of open access resources - Global Social Theory, Discover Society, & the Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project.

I believe that climate catastrophe needs to be addressed via a reparatory politics oriented to a world that works for all of us.

I have recently become a massive fan of Kdrama ...

Just finished Andrey Kurkov's extraordinary quiet novel of the Ukrainian war, Grey Bees. The beekeeper is an everyman tending to his hives in the conflict zone. I urge you to read this moving and important book.

Just read Auden's extraordinary poem In Praise of Limestone for the first time.

"If it form the one landscape that we, the inconstant ones,
Are consistently homesick for, this is chiefly
Because it dissolves in water.

The best and worst never stayed here long but sought
Immoderate soils where the beauty was not so external,
The light less public and the meaning of life
Something more than a mad camp."

#poetry #landscape #Auden #soil

So, time for introductions.

I'm a writer and cultural historian with a particular interest in botanic gardens, imperial and environmental history.

I've published books on Kew Gardens, British travel to Tibet, European writing on India, and cultural exchange between Asia and Britain.

These days, I'm an Emeritus Fellow at the School of Humanities, University of Roehampton, and Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Mastodon App UK

UK Hosted and Managed Mastodon Instance. General communal space for discussion, everyone welcome!