This book provides a convincing argument for the view that whole cells and whole plants growing in competitive wild conditions show aspects of plant behaviour that can be accurately described as 'intelligent'. Trewavas argues that behaviour, like intelligence, must be assessed within the constraints of the anatomical and physiological framework of the organism in question. The fact that plants do t have centralized nervous systems for example, does t exclude intelligent behaviour. Outside the human dimension, culture is thought largely absent and fitness is the biological property of value. Thus, solving environmental problems that threaten to reduce fitness is ather way of viewing intelligent behaviour and has a similar meaning to adaptively variable behaviour. The capacity to solve these problems might be considered to vary in different organisms, but variation does t mean absence. By extending these ideas into a book that allows a critical and amplified discussion, the author hopes to raise an awareness of the concept of purposive behaviour in plants.
Anthony Trewavas obtained his B.Sc and Ph.D from University College, London in Biochemistry and went to do post doctoral research at the University of East Anglia and the University of Edinburgh, where he became Professor of Plant Biochemistry, as well as undertaking numerous visiting professorships abroad. He has published 250 papers and two books, and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Academia Europea and has been elected as a Life Member of the American Society of Plant Biology.