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Alice in Wonderland, chestnut blight, medicinal mushrooms, and more—fungi pop up in our lives in more ways than we think! To introduce us to the remarkable universe of fungi, author and mycologist Lawrence Millman takes the stage with his new book Fungipedia: A Brief Compendium of Mushroom Lore, combining ecological, ethnographic, historical, and contemporary knowledge.
Millman discusses how mushrooms are much more closely related to humans than to plants, how they engage in sex, how insects farm them, and how certain species happily dine on anything from cockroach antennae to leftover radiation. He delves into the lives of individuals like George Washington Carver, who specialized in crop diseases caused by fungi; Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit, who was prevented from becoming a professional mycologist because she was a woman; and Gordon Wasson, a J. P. Morgan vice-president who almost single-handedly introduced the world to magic mushrooms. Millman considers why fungi are among the most significant organisms on our planet and how they are currently being affected by destructive human behavior such as climate change. Join Millman to explore a treasure trove of scientific and cultural information about the world of mushrooms just outside our doors.
Lawrence Millman is a mycologist and author of numerous books, including Our Like Will Not Be There Again, Last Places, Fascinating Fungi of New England, and At the End of the World. He has done mycological work in places as diverse as Greenland, Honduras, Iceland, Panama, the Canadian Arctic, Bermuda, and Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he has documented 321 different species.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Puget Sound Mycological Society.