The Power of Plants: join The OU and BBC for a virtual Green Planet event – OU News

Join us for a virtual event this Friday (25 February) with the experts behind The Open University (OU) / BBC programme, The Green Planet.
The Green Planet first aired on the BBC in January, offering a stunning insight into our world’s flora, presented by the legendary Sir David Attenborough.
The event will be shot in the beautiful setting of Belfast’s Tropical Ravine and is to offer a deep dive into the creation of the programme, as part of NI Science Festival.
The panel will be hosted by Dr Tara Shine, a scientist, policy adviser, public speaker, social entrepreneur, explorer, and author. As well as OU academics, we will be joined by BBC Producer Paul Williams, to look even further behind the scenes of the programme.
Tickets for the Power of Plants are free, and attendees can register online.
Julia Cooke, Senior Lecturer in Ecology at The Open University and academic consultant for The Green Planet, is attending the event to share fascinating insights and answer audience questions. On the event, Julia said:
“It has been wonderful to see the public response to The Green Planet, and to our poster on The Power of Plants. The series has shown just how incredible and important plants are, through a series of wonderful, beautifully shot stories – from plants bubbling underwater, endangered tropical plants and their custodians, to waving creepers in our local wood, to mistletoes flowers bursting from desert cacti, and to the species we depend on for food.
“I look forward to sharing more about plants, and how The Green Planet was made, at the Northern Ireland Science Festival.”
The event will include an opportunity for the audience to learn more about the programme and its creation through a live Q&A with the on-stage panel.
Yoseph Araya, Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science at The Open University and academic consultant for The Green Planet, who is also attending the event, said:
“It will be a great pleasure to share our experience of the making of the series and let our audience appreciate the huge amount of work that goes into capturing the fascinating world of plants, over vastly varying scales of time and geography, while ensuring accuracy and excellent story telling.
As shown from the perspective of plants, as best as we could present it, demonstrates how plants are not passive observers, but active participants in the functioning of our, aptly named, green planet.”
David Gowing, Professor of Botany at The OU and academic consultant for The Green Planet, added:
“It was great to have the opportunity to witness audience reaction to a Green Planet episode at the live event and to have the opportunity of discussing the making of the series with its Executive Producer, Mike Gunton.
“The audience reaction suggested people are beginning to see plants through new eyes. Hopefully, the series and its associated poster will champion a new appreciation of our green cousins in all their varied forms.”
To accompany the series, Broadcast & Partnerships has produced a free poster exploring the critical role plants have on our planet. Copies are available by calling 0300 303 4200 or visiting our broadcast site.
Laura is a manager in the Media Relations team at The Open University. With extensive experience in PR and media management, she has led on external communications for a broad range of organisations, from global brands to local government. Prior to joining the OU, her work on high-profile campaigns included public health, education, finance and more.
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