Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Page 3 Profile: Kathy Willis, biologist

She looks familiar, I think...

Make no mistake. Professor Kathy Willis is the brains behind everything to do with biodiversity. She has taught at Oxford and Cambridge University. She is the director of science at Kew and an adjunct professor at the University of Bergen, Norway. Now she is coming into your home...

Into my home? Really?

Well, kind of. Professor Willis is set to present a 30-part series that explores our Britain’s botany heritage. All of it will be set against the historical backdrop that is London’s Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew.

Kew Gardens? Lovely. Plenty of history there...

Yes, and Professor Willis intends to show us as much of it as possible.

The series will begin with the work of Carl Linnaeus and the birth of modern botany in 1759, right through to scientists working to diversify the British breakfast table with a wider range of cereals.

Great, any decent anecdotes?

Many, in what promises to be a feast of British botany stories. One such is the battle between the botanists of the mid 19th century, as rivals at Kew and Chatsworth House went head-to-head to be the first to grow water lilies from seeds despatched from the Amazon.

Another is the story of the palm-like cycad which was brought to Kew in 1775. It belongs to a group  of plants that have existed for around 280 million years, outliving the dinosaurs and pre-dating  most mammals.

When does it start? And what has Professor Willis said?

She describes Britain’s botanical heritage as illuminating, promising that the series, which starts on the 21st of July will be a “compelling, tale of adventure and discovery, politics and conflict, breathtaking beauty and, ultimately, our dependency on plants.” She adds: “I hope this series will encourage listeners to look at plants in a new light.” Sounds like it certainly will.

Anything else?

Yes, the series will be also feature plant science researchers and historians, and will be accompanied by a book of the same name. Expect to never look at a plant in the same way again.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas