Peter Crane / The Future of Plants

Join us to learn “The Future of Plants” At the Darwin Day Dinner Celebration Saturday, February 8, 2014, with cocktail hour, full course dinner, fascinating conversation, a science quiz, and a presentation by the head of Yale University’s graduate School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Sir Peter Crane FRS.

A memorable event for all, everyone is guaranteed to go home smarter, or at least knowing more than when they arrived!

Plants can make our lives beautiful, are sources of raw materials of all kinds, and regulate processes that make our planet habitable. Yet we are surprisingly ignorant about the changes that are underway in the world of plants. How many species of plants are there and how many species of plants are we losing as a result of changing patterns of land use? Are we on the verge of a botanical mass extinction? What will be the consequences for plants of changing climates? How quickly are plants changing at the genetic level? And how are we changing plants through plant breeding and genetic engineering?
PETER CRANE’s work focuses on the diversity of plant life – its origin, fossil history, current status, conservation and use. A Fellow of the Royal Society (UK’s equivalent of the Academy of Sciences), he directed Chicago’s Field Museum’s scientific programs, became Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and is now Dean at Yale.

This event is sponsored by the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Fairfield County, The Wilton Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Unitarian Church in Westport, Humanists and Freethinkers of Ffld County (HFFC), the Norwalk Public Schools Science Department, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Earthplace, and the Bartlett Arboretum.

DARWIN DAY is an international celebration of science and humanity held around Charles Darwin’s February 12th birthday. Specifically, the event celebrates the discoveries and life of the man, born in 1809, who first described biological evolution via natural selection with scientific rigor. More generally, DARWIN DAY expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.