In Conversation with Professor Suzanne Simard

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Join to discuss her revolutionary work, her life; and the fascinating world of Mother Trees that enable our human survival.

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Join the Presiding Officer in conversation with Professor Suzanne Simard, Professor of Ecology at the University of British Columbia who is credited as transforming the world’s understanding of trees. She was the scientist who discovered that every tree in a forest is linked by underground fungi, allowing them to communicate and build communities around powerful, nurturing Mother Trees.

Today her work is taken as scientific orthodoxy and has inspired countless researchers, writers, and filmmakers, including James Cameron, Robert Macfarlane and Richard Powers, who based a character on Simard in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Overstory. It is also rumoured that Professor Simard is the subject of a Hollywood bio-pic starring Amy Adams; and her Ted talks have racked up millions of views.

Despite her ground-breaking discoveries, she was initially dismissed by the male-dominated scientific establishment of the day. It would be years until the world took her ideas seriously: in 1997, a landmark paper in the journal Nature coined the term Wood Wide Web to describe her work, marking the dawn of a new era of ecological awareness.

Join the Presiding Officer and Professor Simard to discuss her revolutionary work, her life; and the fascinating world of Mother Trees that enable our human survival.


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Organiser The Scottish Parliament

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This is the 17th year that the Scottish Parliament has hosted The Festival of Politics.

Taking place over five days, our free online panel sessions allow you to have your say and debate if the world has gone past its tipping point or if it can be saved through science, technology and innovative action. Themed around the United Nations’ Sustainable Goals, we will also explore the impact of climate on other issues such as poverty and inequality.

Book your free tickets now and find out more about Scotland’s place in tackling the world’s climate crisis as it prepares to host global leaders for the COP26 conference.

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