Plants are not passive, senseless objects. They use the language of fragrances to communicate above and below ground and engage in lively relationships with their environment and peers. Not only do they support relatives, harass strangers, make alliances, they also learn from experience, and remember past events. Some researchers think they are intelligent. And underground they form extensive root and fungal networks to exchange nutrients and information - an Internet of plant communities of unimaginable size. But what are the consequences of these new insights on plants? What does this mean for agriculture, now facing enormous challenges? And is it not time to rethink how we relate to plants? The question is if not also plants deserve respect, dignity - and even rights. Florianne Koechlin, born 1948, is trained in biology and chemistry and authored and edited several books on plant behaviour: 'Zellgeflüster', 'PflanzenPalaver', 'Mozart und die List der Hirse', and 'Jenseits der Blattränder'. She made many interviews with researchers, farmers, philosophers, and scientists who are working to unravel the secrets of plants. In her role as a former member of the Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH), she has extensively discussed the topic about how the new insights could affect our relationships to plants. www.blauen-institut.ch.
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