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THE AGE OF SEEDS: How Plants Hacked Time and Why Our Future
The captivating story of seed longevity, and what this means for biodiversity and our future foods.
Bringing history and science to life, The Age of Seeds is a journey backwards and forwards through time in an examination of seeds and their impact on humans.
From the miraculous germination of a 2000-year-old extinct date palm named Methuselah to the so-called Doomsday Vault, Fiona McMillan-Webster tells the astonishing story of seeds and the crucial role they play in our everyday lives. In fact, our food security and the planet's biodiversity are profoundly dependent on them.
Seeds perform many functions: they feed, shelter and heal us. They are kernels for knowledge: ancient and emerging. Almost everything, including the book you hold in your hands, has its genesis in these amazing time capsules.
In the spirit of Michael Pollan, The Age of Seeds takes us on a fascinating quest to understand seeds, biodiversity and food security - topics very much of the moment. The scope of the book is global with stories about plants and people from around the world.
About the author
Fiona McMillan-Webster is a science writer with a Bachelor of Science in physics and a PhD in biophysics.
She has written for National Geographic, Forbes Science, COSMOS magazine and Australian Geographic. Her writing also appears in the Best Australian Science Writing anthologies for 2015, 2016 and 2018. She was runner up for the UNSW Bragg Press Prize for Science Writing 2016. Her scientific research writing at the University of Queensland explains the latest discoveries in brain research, cancer immunology, nanotechnology, and more. She is Editor of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology's magazine Small Things, Big Changes.
Fiona works behind the scenes to help produce scientific content across other media including ABC's factual TV series Ask the Doctor. www.fionamcmillanwebster.com
Fiona McMillan-Webster has an exceptional talent for making science accessible and engaging.
Her quest to understand seeds, the evolution of crops, biodiversity and food security is:
- very anecdotal with stories about the work and lives of various personalities of science and how seeds have been looted or hidden during wars and conflicts throughout history because of their strategic importance.
- very readable popular science completely on topic and of the moment.
- very global with example of plants and people from around the world as the book’s make up
The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hanson
Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants by Jane Goodall
Seeds: A Natural History by Carolyn Fry
Tamed by Alice Roberts
Where Our Food Comes From by Gary Paul Nabhan
It is also reminiscent of the following nature/science writing books:
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
Tapestries of Life by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson
I Contain Multitudes and An Immense World both by Ed Yong
Publicity and endorsements
The Head of the UK Millennium Seed Bank, , Paul Smith, has endorsed the book whereas Michael Pollan has discussed and referenced it on his social media channels.
Media wise the author is in touch with The Washington Post and The New Scientist as well as two senior editors at the NYT for a feature article.
It is early days and obviously we’ll keep you posted when/if articles are being published.
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