BBC Radio 4 is to launch 'Plants: From Roots to Riches', a series that will explore our changing relationship with plants and the history of plant science.
The programme, created in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and presented by Kew's director of science, Professor Kathy Willis, will feature access to the heritage and ongoing work of scientists at the botanical institution.
The 25-part series will begin by looking into Kew’s archive and collections, to tell the story of how modern botany was born around the time of Kew’s establishment in 1759. It will go on to examine how subsequent changes in scientific, economic and social preoccupations have influenced our attitudes to plants – from tools to exploit for food, fuel and industry, to objects of beauty, to being an essential global resource.
Willis will talk to a range of experts including plant science researchers and historians. The programme will mix interviews recorded on location at Kew Gardens with narration and historical analysis.
Plants: From Roots to Riches will begin broadcasting on Radio 4 from 21 July and will be accompanied by a book of the same name.