I went to see #Dune with ecosystem scientist @ymalhi and we chatted about the deep science of Frank Herbert's world on the podcast. We do go into the sandworms. A quick taster: 1/
(Image: Warner Bros)
Frank Herbert was way ahead of his time. In making the link between living things and the planetary system of Arrakis, Herbert anticipated what James Lovelock did with #Gaia 2/
But Herbert was probably aware of the work of Soviet biologist Vladimir Vernadsky whose book The Biosphere (written in 1926!) argued that life is the geological force that shapes the Earth. Vernadsky is a Russian legend but less known in the west 3/
Herbert mentions in the book (and maybe in the film but I didn’t catch it) the Tansley Effect. This refers to Arthur Tansley (the first president of the @BritishEcolSoc which I used to be a student member of!) who coined the term “ecosystem” in 1935. 4/
Dune’s planetary ecologist, Pardot Kynes, says (with contemporary relevance) “the human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive” 5/
Herbert was also into his psychedelics, and created Spice (secreted by sandworms). It allows hyperspace travel because it gives insight into the connections between planets but also those that weave together ecosystems (e.g. mycelial networks) 6/
Listen to the #DuneMovie podcast here (also @ymalhi would like his title to be changed to planetary ecologist, is that ok, @UniofOxford?)

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More from @rowhoop

20 Oct
#COP26 is the biggest party of the year, and every party needs a soundtrack.
So me and @inkerley have made one 1/
It’s a collaborative spotify playlist so please do add songs you think we need for the party:
open.spotify.com/playlist/67Qng… 2/
The rules for inclusion are pretty loose:
Some very obviously are about#climatechange, such as @billieeilish’s “All the Good Girls Go to Hell” 3/ Image
Read 7 tweets
14 Jul 20
On #worldchimpanzeeday, some of my favourite chimp stories. First: chimp proto-religion! newscientist.com/article/207963…
Second: chimps hunting with spears! newscientist.com/article/dn1123…
Third: chimp tribes waging war! newscientist.com/article/mg2222…
Read 11 tweets

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