Now that we’re open, I thought I’d put some of our research up for folks who’ve seen the show and are interested how we arrived at this point…
First up. Jagadish Chandra Bose. (1858-1937)
The Bengali scientist who Chet references in his opening narration. Bose was a remarkable man I think. He was in the mix with Tesla and Marconi in the creation of radio, he discovered microwaves, rejected the ethics of patent (after a well meaning colleague submitted a patent in America on his behalf but without his permission) and basically withdrew from radio and electronics research out of an indifference to the rapid commercialization of the field. All to the benefit of plant research, because Bose retreated into his lab and spent the rest of his life working to understand the complexity of the plant world. He was an iconoclast and a natural skeptic. His work was so forward thinking that some of his counter-orthodox theories have been only been confirmed as recently as 1995. And at the base of it all, for me at least, is his claim that plants can indeed feel pain and understand affection as proven by the electrical conductivity of their cell membranes.
Here’s a sketch of one of the machines he invented to measure plant movement.
The institute he founded in Calcutta is still there and still functioning as a research facility.
The Bose Institute
And the coolest part of that is that they have preserved much of Bose’s equipment and you can see it all in person at the museum onsite. I can only dream about visiting this place at the moment, but if I ever make it to Calcutta, there’s no way I will miss the chance to see it all in person.
If you want to read some of Bose’s research, the lovely people/borg at Google have kindly made that possible and free with a single click here: Researches on the Irritability of Plants.