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Naturalist of the Middle Way: Enlightenment, Enlichenment, & Enlivenment
October 1, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Join renowned Naturalist Trevor Goward for a 60-minute presentation offering up three propositions: 1) naturalists have an important role to play in this period of rapid and disturbing change; 2) it’s about time we hade ourselves ready; and 3) lichens can help. Q&A to follow
Admission by Donation – coffee, tea & desserts available by donation
Internationally regarded as a leading authority on lichens, Goward has written three books on the subject and more than 80 peer-reviewed papers. He has named two dozen species and has had several lichens named in his honour. All this, and yet he has never taken a biology course, much less one on lichens. In fact, his only formal degree is a Bachelor of Arts.
Author Erica Gies, a Victoria, BC based science writer, introduces Trevor:
“Goward…seems more mountain man than scientist, a naturalist in the tradition of Charles Darwin or Henry David Thoreau. Goward’s scientific love is lichens—those growths that look like little mosses or colored crusts stuck to trees and rocks everywhere. And yet Trevor Goward is a maverick in the scientific world. His radical thought experiments about lichens, published in 12 provocative essays, available on his Website, Ways of Enlichenment, have been both ridiculed and lauded—but largely ignored by most researchers because he holds no scientific degrees and because many of his ideas are not supported by rigorous data. Still, Goward’s astute observations and deep thinking follow in the footsteps of Darwin’s and Thoreau’s approaches—which, much more than laboratory science, formed the basis of the theories of evolution and ecology.”
“The lichen by its very nature exists at a portal, a doorway,” says Goward. “If you look in one direction, it’s an organism. If you look in the other direction, it’s an ecosystem.”
“Lichens are my window,” he says, “but it’s the act of looking at the world that’s the interesting thing.” Systems only hold together in the long term if the parts consider themselves integral to the whole and if the whole protects the parts, as lichens do. “That’s what’s going wrong with us,” he says. “As individuals, we’re not concerned with the whole.”