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Who is Dr Peter Raven?



Peter Raven (centre) with Susan & Alan Carle at The Botanical Ark

Peter Raven (centre) with Susan & Alan Carle at The Botanical Ark

Dr Peter Raven is our hero. For those of us in the conservation world, he is a seminal figure. For me (Alan), his books and talks were influential on my conservation thinking when I was a young man. Time magazine justifiably called him a “Hero for the Planet”. Here’s a brief resume of his impressive life’s work.


Peter Raven:

– Headed Missouri Botanical Garden for four decades, turning it into a world-class botanical research and education centre.

– Is the recipient of the International Prize for Biology from the government of Japan and the U.S. National Medal of Science, the country’s highest award for scientific accomplishment.

– Held Guggenheim and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowships.

– Initiated and co-chaired the 50-volume Flora of China project.

– Served on President Bill Clinton’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. 

– Served for 12 years as home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences.

– Is a member of the national academies of science in Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the U.K. and several other countries.

– Wrote numerous popular and scientific books and reports.

– Co-authored Biology of Plants, an internationally best-selling textbook, now in its eighth edition. He also co-authored Environment, a leading textbook on the environment.

Needless to say, it was an honour hat he wrote the preface for our book, The Botanical Ark.


What did Dr Peter Raven say about The Botanical Ark?

In the preface to The Botanical Ark, he wrote:

“Their highly successful effort to create a unique botanical garden, or botanical ark, in the northeastern corner of Australia, will help to save, understand, and appreciate the wonderful beauty of the rain forests.” 

“Their appreciation of indigenous cultures, which they celebrate as part of the unique ecosystems, is a necessary ingredient in saving the whole of nature.”

“Using their garden and their resources to raise awareness of tropical forests, they have demonstrated an unavoidable truth – that each of us has a choice, and that each can make a difference.”

We have had other prominent people visit us at The Botanical Ark, including Michael Pollan.

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