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Join Sir Peter Crane for a discussion of his latest book, Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot. He will share insights on the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the important role of botanic gardens and his great love of trees. Inspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, he explores the history of the ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees.
Sir Peter Crane is the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean and Professor of Botany at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His work focuses on the diversity of plant life: its origin and fossil history, current status, and conservation and use. From 1992 to 1999, he was director of the Field Museum in Chicago, with overall responsibility for the museum’s scientific programs. From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K. Crane was elected to the Royal Society (the U.K. academy of sciences) in 1998. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and a member of the German Academy Leopoldina. He was knighted in the U.K. for services to horticulture and conservation in 2004. He currently serves on the Boards of the Field Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. He is a Distinguished Counsellor to the Board of the New York Botanical Garden.