Evening meeting “Plant Conservation – now is the time to change our minds”

June 18, 2015


The Linnean Society of London organises an Evening Meeting on Plant Conservation, presented by Timothy Walker.

Opinion No.1 – 44% of all plant species will be extinct when the current cohort of undergraduates is 70 year old

Opinion No.2 – There is no technical reason why any plant species should become extinct

There is obviously no consensus of opinions as to the current fate of the plant kingdom. However, to plagiarize Norman Borlaug, “…impact in the fields and woodlands, not learned publications, is the measure by which we will judge…our work.” For too long the conservation of species has been focussed, to the point of obsession, on conservation of plants in their habitats. If the measurements of species extinctions are believed this is not working. It can be argued that now is the time to separate the conservation of plant species and the conservation of ecosystem services.

Timothy Walker was director of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum for 26 years until July 2014. During that time he was involved not only in species recovery programmes for both native and exotic plant species but also in the restoration of native habitats. He is now a lecturer in plant science at Somerville College Oxford and teaches botany to the 330 biology undergraduates at Oxford.


This meeting is free and open to all; registration is not necessary.

Tea and coffee will be served in the Library from 17:30 and a wine reception will follow.



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