The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life: Robin Wall Kimmerer


Kristen Tippett of NPR’s On Being speaks at length with scientist and indigenous citizen Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass, Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.

“Why is the world so beautiful?” This is a question Robin Wall Kimmerer pursues as a botanist and also as a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She writes, “Science polishes the gift of seeing, indigenous traditions work with gifts of listening and language.” An expert in moss — a bryologist — she describes mosses as the “coral reefs of the forest.” Her work opens a sense of wonder and humility for the intelligence in all kinds of life we are used to naming and imagining as “inanimate.” She says that as our knowledge about plant life unfolds, human vocabulary and imaginations must adapt.

Listen to the full episode here.


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The world is a big place. This is how it appears to me. Your results may differ.

2 thoughts on “The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life: Robin Wall Kimmerer”

    1. I feel just the same way, T… it was a deeply satisfying and resonant invitation into a manner of seeing and being (in a place), which I have been seeking to learn by osmosis. I have told everyone I know, who might be inclined to benefit, about this book. And I just realized you reviewed it on your blog… reading your words now. And also sending you a reply to your Twitter message via email.


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