Home » What a Plant Knows – free online course

What a Plant Knows – free online course

What a Plant Knows – free online course

What a Plant Knows It’s a week until the free What a Plant Knows (and other things you didn’t know about plants) course begins. If you’re interested in an enjoyable online learning experience about plants, I’d recommend giving it a try.


About the Course:
For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form – from Charles Darwin’s early fascination with stems and flowers to Seymour Krelborn’s distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. This course intends to present an intriguing and scientifically valid look at how plants themselves experience the world – from the colors they see to the sensations they feel. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, we will delve into the inner lives of plants and draw parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. We’ll learn how plants know up from down, how they know when a neighbor has been infested by a group of hungry beetles, and whether they appreciate the music you’ve been playing for them or if they’re just deaf to the sounds around them. We’ll explore definitions of memory and consciousness as they relate to plants in asking whether we can say that plants might even be aware of their surroundings. This highly interdisciplinary course meshes historical studies with cutting edge modern research and will be relevant to all humans who seek their place in nature. This class has three main goals:

  1. To introduce you to basic plant biology by exploring plant senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste, balance).
  2. To introduce you to biological research and the scientific method.
  3. To get the student to question life in general and what defines us as humans.

If it’s as good as his book with the same name, it should be a good course.

AJ Cann

Alan Cann is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester and formerly Internet Consulting Editor for AoB.

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