NON FICTION

MEN WHO LOVE PLANTS

Best-selling author Stefano Mancuso explores the stories of the scientists who inspired him along the way.

Uomini che amano le piante-Stefano Mancuso

Five centuries of discoveries in the vegetal world told through the extraordinary lives of naturalists, geneticists, and botanists. All related through their passion for plants, trees, agriculture, and genetics. For example, Charles Darwin, who identified a type of butterfly that could pollinate only one type of orchid. Leonardo da Vinci, who dedicated himself to the study of phyllotaxis, the disposition of leaves on a plant stem to capture the light of the sun. And how to comment on the tragic story of the Russian geneticist Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov who isolated in the laboratory the super-grain that would feed millions of peasants only then to fall victim to the purges of Stalin and to die of hunger in the Nazi siege of Leningrad? This book also tells of the incredible life of George Washington Carver, the first black American to graduate in agriculture who invented a revolutionary method of cultivating peanuts. It tells the life of Charles Harrison Blackley, who risking his own existence, discovered the origins of hay fever. Many other scientists are included who changed our ideas about the universe we live in, to complete a tale of the most amazing and sometimes unknown discoveries in the vegetal world.

Scientists include:
1. Leonardo da Vinci (1400-1500)
2. Charles Darwin (England, 1800s)
3. Federico Delpino (Italy, 1800-1900)
4. Marcello Malpighi (Italy, 1600s)
5. Ephraim Wales Bull (USA, 1800s)
6. Odoardo Beccari (Italy, 1800s)
7. George Washington Carver (USA, 1800s)
8. Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov (USSR, 1800-1900)
9. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Switzerland/France, 1700s)
10. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Germany, 1700-1800)
11. Gregor Johann Mendel (Czech Republic, 1800s)
12. Charles Harrison Blackley (England, 1800s)

Stefano Mancuso is the director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology (LINV) in Florence, Italy, a founder of the International Society for Plant Signaling and Behavior, and a professor at the University of Florence. His most recent project is the Jellyfish Barge, a modular floating greenhouse that grows plants through solar-powered seawater desalination, featured in the 2015 Universal Expo in Milan. Mancuso’s books and papers have been published in numerous international magazines and journals, and La Repubblica newspaper has listed him among the twenty people who will change our lives. 

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