RAM Talk: Stories of Plants’ Names
Jul 28, 2018 Saturday 19:00 - 20:30
2F, Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 20 Huqiu Road)
In Chinese bird and flower markets, totally different plants may have an identical name, such as “Golden Fortune”. Different from botanists’ scientific classification of plants, people use these auspicious names to convey their wishes for better life and beautiful imaginations about nature. This has inspired the artist Lin Tianmiao to create My Garden, an artwork that is included in her exhibition “Systems” and now displayed on the fourth floor of the Rockbund Art Museum.
To avoid confusion arising from multiple names given to the same plant or identical names given to different plants, botanists attempted to categorize plants based on the flower colors, leaf shapes or other features of plants. In the eighteenth century, the Swedish botanist Carl von Linné established a system of taxonomy based on the number of plants’ reproduction organs, which has been widely used till now. This seemingly objective system built by referring to the relationships among human beings was inevitably influenced by the social and cultural factors in the botanist’s era.
We are honored to invite the botanist Shi Jun to introduce and compare the different systems and methods of naming plants as well as their origins and background stories in this talk. He will also share his own observations and thoughts about culture and society from the perspective of a botanist.
Shi Jun is the founder of Corn Science Lab, the Council Member of Orchid Society of China and member of China Science Writers Association. He once served as a planner for Guokr Reading Program and an associate editor for the magazine Newton. He obtained a PhD in Botany at Institute of Botany, the Chines Academy of Sciences, specializing in research on propagation and protection of the Orchidaceae.
He is the author of Plants Universe and Botanists’ Chopsticks and Test Strips, a book about how to distinguish between edible plants and poisonous plants. A “super topic” about botany launched by him at Sina Weibo has attracted more than 100 million views.
Free admission, reservation is required.