Lectures are supported in part by the Klein Lecture Endowment given in memory of Dr. William M. Klein who served from 1977-1990 as the Arboretum’s first full-time director, the Laura L. Barnes Lecture Endowment of The Philadelphia Foundation, given in memory of Laura Barnes by students and alumni of her school of horticulture, and the Byron Lukens Lecture Endowment, given in memory of educator and Arboretum volunteer, Byron Lukens and his wife Elizabeth.
Dr. Andrew Binns, Biology Professor, University of Pennsylvania
SUNDAY, JANUARY 22 | 2:00pm
Agricultural and horticultural scientists have developed the capacity to modify the genomes of plants with the general goal of developing plant varieties or cultivars that, for example, would be resistant to disease, produce a better product, or have desired horticultural characteristics, among numerous different possibilities. Many genetically modified plants are currently grown and marketed across the globe. While this has been happening, anxiety has developed about such plants and their impact on society and on ecosystems. Dr. Binns will provide a brief summary of the science behind GMO production and ‘conventional’ breeding; discuss the conceivable positives and negatives from these two approaches based on the science behind them; and examine how political/ economic discourse affects decision making in relation to utilization of these technologies.
Dr. Ari Novy, Executive Director, U.S. Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1 | 2:00pm
Engaging urban populations in important environmental issues is critical for creating beautiful, healthy cities. In this lecture Dr. Ari Novy will explore using ecology and agriculture to teach people about the importance of plants. As more and more people around the world move into cities, fewer and fewer of them have regular contact with natural or agricultural landscapes. Yet, our success and survival as a society relies on our ability to effectively steward the open spaces in our cities as well as those that are often far away from our urban centers. Learn more about what Dr. Ari Novy and the staff at the U.S. Botanic Garden have done to teach the public about the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic, and ecological importance of plants to the well-being of humankind.
Dr. John Francis, National Geographic Explorer and Environmental Educator
SUNDAY, MARCH 5 | 2:00pm
This program is being presented in partnership with Temple University Ambler and will be held at the Ambler Campus Learning Center Auditorium.
Beginning with his journey on foot across the Americas, Dr. Francis will speak about his transformation from an environmental activist to environmental practitioner and how his and our own journeys might lead us closer to sustainability. Dr. Francis speaks on environmental issues internationally. He began his work in 1971, when after witnessing an oil spill in San Francisco Bay, he stopped using motorized vehicles and took a vow of silence lasting 17 years. He earned three degrees including a doctorate in land resources, from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The founder of Planetwalk, an environmental awareness organization, he ended his silence on Earth Day 1990, telling the assembled crowd, “Environment is about how we treat each other.” He served as project manager for the United States Coast Guard Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and authored Planetwalker: 17-Years of Silence, 22-Years of Walking, and Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World, both published by National Geographic Books.