In Planta Sapiens, author Paco Calvo invites readers to challenge the notion of plants as static, reactionary organisms devoid of any agency or cognition. Through a mix of historical context, narrative, and research, Paco investigates the microscopic chemical reactions that drive plant biology and behavior – processes that he and a small contingent of his fellows believe may actually point to plant sentience.While the research findings are thought-provoking, I found myself more interested in the personal journey taken by Calvo to shift his own perspective on plant biology, as well as the significant pushback his thinking has received from the greater scientific community. Overall, I found this book entertaining, though I suspect that it may only find an audience with those who are already interested in the subject matter.
Planta Sapiens by Paco Calvo, (List Price: 28.95, W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393881080, March 2023)
Reviewed by Elliot Ambrose, E. Shaver, Bookseller in Savannah, Georgia