Compassion & Kinship: Astounding Intelligence in Nature


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“The problem is that Western thinkers tend to consider intelligence as a human exclusivity.” —Jeremy Narby, anthropologist

“We’re just one member of the democracy of species; the Earth does not just belong to us.” —Robin Kimmerer, Potawatomi Indigenous ecologist

Humans are a part of nature, not apart from it. Our innate capacity for intelligence suggests the same is true for the rest of our interconnected web of life. As researchers study the natural world, we find our notions of consciousness expanding.

This week, meet thought leaders whose work is transforming our curiosity about intelligence in nature into a full-fledged field of research — with deep implications for the future of our relationship with the natural world.


New Podcast Episode: Forest Wisdom, Mother Trees and the Science of Community

Forests have long occupied a fertile landscape in the human imagination, yet we’ve largely treated forests as inert physical resources to satisfy human needs and desires. The main operative science behind this commodification has been market science — how to extract maximum resources and profits.

This Bioneers podcast episode features Suzanne Simard, a revolutionary researcher who is transforming the science of forest ecology and coming full circle to the wisdom held by First Peoples and traditional land-based cultures from time immemorial. The story Simard is uncovering can change our story for how we live on Earth and with each other – for the long haul.

Listen here.


Intelligence in Nature at the 2020 Bioneers Conference

Paul Stamets and Mark Plotkin are two visionary leaders whose work has expanded our understanding of intelligence in nature. They’re also keynote speakers at the Bioneers 2020 Conference!

Register for Bioneers 2020 now, and check out Mark Plotkin’s new article featured in The New York Times.


A Conversation with Merlin Sheldrake, Author of Entangled Life

Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and a writer whose research ranges from fungal biology, to the history of Amazonian ethnobotany, to the relationship between sound and form in resonant systems. A keen brewer and fermenter, he is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms.

In this video interview, Bioneers Senior Producer J.P. Harpignies chats with Merlin about his new, highly acclaimed first book, Entangled Life.

Watch the interview here, and read an excerpt from the book here.


Paul Stamets, Katsi Cook and Jeffrey Bronfman – Plant Sacraments and the Mind of Nature

Can plants help people access the intelligence in nature—the “mind of nature”—that we must learn to understand in order to supersede our ecologically destructive habits? This panel discussion features Jeffrey Bronfman, founding member of the União do Vegetal church of the United States; Paul Stamets, master mycologist; and Katsi Cook, renowned Mohawk midwife and environmental activist. Hosted by J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Associate Producer.

Stamets and Cook will also be speaking at the Bioneers 2020 Conference on December 5. Register now to join them for a voyage into the mind of nature!


The Honorable Harvest with Robin Kimmerer

What does ethical reciprocity between humans and the natural world look like? The Honorable Harvest reminds us how to take, use and share while mindfully honoring the indigenous legacies that teach us how to commune with our planet. Featuring Robin Wall Kimmerer, Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Watch here, and share the video on Facebook here.


She is the Ocean Film Premiere!

She is the Ocean is a new documentary profiling nine extraordinary women from across the world who share one thing in common: a profound love for the sea. A love so profound that they have chosen to make the ocean the center of their physical, philosophical, and professional lives. Don’t miss this new movie, which premiered online and at select theatres nationwide earlier this week!

Learn more about how to watch.


Bioneers Reader: Intelligence in Nature

This Bioneers Reader features some of the world’s foremost thought leaders sharing their research and observations about nature’s intelligence. We’re excited to share a selection of the groundbreaking concepts buzzed about within our community, in a beautifully-designed package that’s free to download. Don’t forget to share this reader with your friends and family!

Get your free download here!


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