Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Welcome to my cornucopia

This blog idea started as an outreach idea. I'm constantly frustrated at the number of undergraduate students entering the University education streams in Science with only one end goal: to become a doctor. That's all wonderful and great; don't get me wrong, we always need more doctors. But the part that gets my goat is when these students are closed-minded to everything except their end goal. They say that having to learn about plant biology is "stupid" and "annoying" and "a waste of my time". Really? Since the plant kingdom is so diverse it should be of interest to everyone, let alone those interested in medicine. A significant number of medications we currently use in Western medicine, and between 75-95% of all medicines in traditional Eastern medicine are of plant or fungal origin. That's a pretty significant number when they're so "stupid" and such a huge "waste of time"!

So here's my idea: to blog about my favourite plants and see where it goes. Since I'm earning my PhD in mycology I can't possibly leave fungi out, so there will be a smattering of fungi of special interest (and those of no special interest but that are growing in my back yard) here and there. Indeed, fungi were considered plants until Roger Whittaker devised the five kingdoms of life in 1969. All blog images are my own, unless otherwise noted.

And now we begin!