Ferrum News

Time Magazine “Environmental Hero for the Planet” to Speak at Ferrum College Thurs., Oct. 4


Renowned ethnobotanist and social entrepreneur Dr. Mark Plotkin’s evening lecture is free and open to the public but reservations are required.

Ferrum, Va. (Sept. 28, 2012) – Renowned ethnobotonist and social entrepreneur Dr. Mark Plotkin will speak at Ferrum College on Thurs., Oct. 4, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the College’s Sale Theater. Plotkin’s lecture is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Those interested in attending should call Susan Cook at 540.365.4370 or email scook@ferrum.edu for reservations.

As an ethnobotanist - a scientist who studies how, and why, societies have come to use plants for different purposes - Plotkin carried out three decades studying traditional plant use with elder Shamans (traditional healers) of tropical America.

Plotkin has written several influential books, most notably his popular work Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice, which is currently in its thirtieth printing and has also been published in Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.  Acclaimed filmmaker Miranda Smith produced a related documentary titled the The Shaman's Apprentice featuring Dr. Plotkin's work, which has since garnered awards at sixteen different film festivals.

Time magazine called Plotkin an "Environmental Hero for the Planet" in 1999 and 2001 and Smithsonian magazine hailed him as one of "35 Who Made a Difference" in 2005, along with other notables like Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg. He is now President of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), a nonprofit organization he co-founded with his fellow conservationist, Liliana Madrigal in 1996. In March 2008, Plotkin and Madrigal were among those chosen as "Social Entrepreneurs of the Year" by the Skoll Foundation.

The author of numerous scientific papers and reports, Plotkin's critically acclaimed book, Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets, was published in early 2000. Little, Brown published his most recent book (coauthored with Michael Shnayerson), The Killers Within: The Deadly Rise of Drug-Resistant Bacteria, in September of 2002. It was selected as a Discover Magazine book of the year.

Plotkin's work has been featured in a PBS Nova documentary, in an Emmy winning Fox TV documentary, on the NBC Nightly News and Today Show, CBS' 48 Hours and in Life, Newsweek, Smithsonian, Elle, People, The New York Times, along with appearances on National Public Radio.

Plotkin was educated at Harvard, Yale and Tufts University.

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