January 27, 2020
5:00 pm La Kretz Garden Pavilion
"Darwin in the Garden: Botanical gardens can do more to promote societal understanding of evolution"
Join William (Ned) Friedman, Evolutionary Biologist and Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, to explore the importance of botanical gardens for improving public understanding of evolution. Although often overlooked as such, many of the plants in the botanical gardens are premier examples of the ongoing process of evolution. Indeed, Charles Darwin drew heavily from botanical and horticultural knowledge to gain critical evidence for and insights into the process of evolution. Early evolutionists made use of plant hybridization, domestication history, horticultural sports, and biogeography to piece together key facets of the evolutionary process. In a country where roughly 40% of the population believes in the miraculous creation of biodiversity, botanical gardens can become a stronger voice for the promotion of evolutionary thinking.