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Re: your valued opinions- writing on trees/body languages/fungi

Subject: Re: your valued opinions- writing on trees/body languages/fungi
From: Jon Heuch
Date: Jan 03 2012 16:34:24
I think you do Paul Stamets a disservice in comparing him to the

convicted fraudster & embezzling hotel manager Erich Von Daniken -

Stamets is a serious and knowledgeable practical mycologist

I agree that in Mycelium Running he does plunge head-first into bold

statements together with some unwarranted analogies, but that (I assume)

is largely to grab the attention of those who'd just get bored and go

away if faced with a couple of scientific citations.

Much of his theorising is, no doubt, un-backed up by any rigorous

research; but unless he's lying in his teeth, he seems to have had a

good deal of success in getting things past the FDA (for example), which

I suspect means that he's been able to put forward some fairly

rigorously researched evidence.

Not that I'm any kind of Stamets apologist - Personally I find his

over-enthusiastic prose style rather wearing.

I simply suggest that you shouldn't judge a book by its Amazon Look

Inside entry (let alone use it to dismiss someone's entire oeuvre).

Some might even say that such an approach is itself a touch unscientific!


I don't see what is unscientific by criticising something, on appearances 
or on any other

I am happy to change my mind or alter my opinion based on facts. Bill's 
comment was that Stamet's

was a mixture of science and opinion. I have looked for the science and found 
little - admittedly 

based on access to a relatively small number of pages. 


Let's look at Stamet's track record. In writing a book with a provoking title 
I would expect a
wealth of prior

publications that he might be able to draw upon. Possibly peer reviewed, 
possibly scientific. Not
having that 

doesn't prevent the writing of a useful book but it's a useful foundation for 
a book. He lists 11 of

own, two of which are joint publications. 1 is a patent application and the 
three that appear to be
in a scientific journal are in just 

one journal -International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, the editorial 
board of which Mr Stamets
sits. Perhaps that is just a reflection

of the focus of his research but it does suggest a rather limited scientific 
and publication record.
That should not close

any body's mind to new ideas but one has to judge whether enthusiasm has 
taken over from science.


Arboriculture as a bit of an academic backwater provides a forum in which to 
peddle ideas and seek
an audience; there's plenty of science

to fall back on if anyone had half an incentive to go and look but on the 
whole we don't. Mushrooms
helping to save the Planet? 

Maybe I will need to read the book to make a more informed judgment.





 Jon Heuch Tel:          +44 (0)1233 713 466 Mob:    +44 (0)7810 610 712


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