Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence

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For years, scientists and scholars have been studying animal communication for distinctive linguistic characteristics. It has taken half a century for those same scientists and scholars to unveil and develop a method for studying animal communication. At last a few scholars have come forward to present a incredible research in plant intelligence. This undertaking is complex, yet so important to understand how living organisms complete their life cycle, from the members of the sun-soaking plant kingdom to the organisms at the top of the food chain in the animal kingdom.

Authors Stefano Mancuso and Alessandra Viola, with a foreword by Michael Pollan, have organized a powerful argument in Brilliant Green. Their book is a powerful reminder that humans are not at the center of the universe after all. Professor Mancuso, director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology in Florence, Italy, and founder of the International Society for Plant Signaling and Behavior, writes convincing chapters that describe how plants sense, signal, and interpret information vital to their sustenance. Co-author Alessandra Viola is a scientific journalist and documentary writer. Together, they make a formidable team, endeavoring to show the world the nature of plant intelligence. Perhaps, the authors imply, we might get a glimpse of understanding how extraterrestrial intelligence might have evolved by taking careful notice of what plant life does on Earth.

For those seeking technical depiction and insightful illustrations that form the basis of the work, the reader will not be disappointed. The book is chock-full of illustrations and biographical details that stimulate the interest in plant functionality. Indeed, the writing team leaves no stone unturned. The book is a vast resource, a template for future theorizing and a reference to build upon. Mancuso and Viola blaze a trail of intrigue, to study the seemingly inaccessible, to fathom the unfathomable, to celebrate the essence of life on Earth.

This book is a work composed by great thinkers. What separates great thinkers from every day writers is not their fancy degrees and notoriety, but rather the authors’ ability to see beyond the obvious and ferret out information that inspires us.

These two authors do this repeatedly throughout the book. Each page drives the reader to the next, compelling him or her to put it all together in a meaningful way. The first chapter captures the enthusiasm and essence for plant research with its pinpointed title, “The Root of the Problem.”

The perspective of life and the hope of mankind evidenced in the present work, sheds light on the the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and points to a possible scenario. I strongly support these two authors efforts and celebrate their scholarly accomplishments of documenting this very essential work. Holding their heads high, they face a new renaissance. This book is nothing short of summer reading that broadens the soul.


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Author Stefano Mancuso, Alessandra Viola, Michael Pollan, Foreword
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Island Press
Publish Date 2015-Mar-12
ISBN 9781610916035
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2015
Category Science & Nature
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