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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: Philip van Wassenaer
Date: Jan 03 2012 18:50:52
Read on Jon,

 

I would also say that the arb world has invited Paul Stamets in, rather than 
him seeking an audience here and he has made no particular effort to 
penetrate our "academic backwater" for "a forum in which to peddle ideas and 
seek an audience". He has more than enough willing audiences to need to do 
this.

 

I held a conference here last year and invited Paul to be one of the speakers 
and I found that his work, research and ideas had a lot of synergy and 
resonance for the audience. It was not all arbs to be sure but all took away 
a useful message from a very different perspective than most were used to.

 

Due to the success of last year's event, we will be holding the conference 
again this spring in Vancouver, BC, Canada if anyone is interested in a trip 
to the colonies!! See the link below:

 

http://www.ufis.ca/pdf/Soils-and-Urban-Trees-2012.pdf

 

Cheers and happy New Year to the UKTC,

 

 

Philip van Wassenaer, B.SC., MFC

1248 Minnewaska Trail

Mississauga, Ontario

Canada, L5G 3S5

Tel:  (905) 274-1022

Cell: (647) 221 3046

Fax: (905) 274 2170

UFI new logo very small

 

 <http://www.urbanforestinnovations.com/> www.urbanforestinnovations.com

 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Heuch [mailto:j.heuch@xxxxxxxxxxx.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 11:34 AM
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: your valued opinions- writing on trees/body languages/fungi

 

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

criteria/attribute. 

 

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

book

 

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

his

 

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 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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