Richard Deverell: How can botanic gardens help to save humanity?

Online | £7 | £28 for the series

The Winter Lectures 2022 will take place online via Zoom. Use the button below to register.


How can botanic gardens help to save humanity? - a talk by Richard Deverell

We stand face two great challenges of the 21st century: the extinction crisis and the climate crisis.  These will bring huge implications for every country and society on earth.  No one will be unaffected.  Understanding, protecting and restoring nature is at the heart of long-term solutions to each.Why should we care about nature and what can we do to ensure it thrives, alongside humanity, in the 21st century?  What role can botanic gardens play in developing and delivering solutions here in the UK and around the world?  Examples will include discovering climate-resilient crops, using evidence to protect areas of outstanding natural diversity, inspiring the public to care about nature and training the next generation of scientists and horticulturists with essential skills. I will argue that botanic gardens – these beautiful, diverse and historic organisations - have a vital role in helping humanity, and all life on earth, not just to survive these global challenges, but to thrive.  Botany is the science that will save humanity.

Richard Deverell is the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Richard joined Kew after nearly 20 years at the BBC where he achieved success leading and managing new initiatives in BBC News where he helped to launch, and subsequently ran, the news and sport websites.  He also ran BBC Children’s where he was responsible for CBBC and CBeebies. He was the Chief Operating Officer for BBC North and thus contributed to the delivery of one of the BBC’s most important new capital projects, the creation of Media City in Salford. A Natural Sciences graduate from Cambridge University, Richard is familiar with the challenges and opportunities facing Kew as a result of his six years as a trustee between 2003 and 2009, during which time, amongst other things, he chaired the Board Audit Committee.


Winter Lecture series 2022: 

Join us on Thursdays throughout January, February and March for our Winter Lecture series. 

  • 20 Jan 2022 | 7pm Isabella Tree Conservationist and author of Wilding – the Return of Nature to a British Farm
  • 3 Feb 2022 | 7pm Richard Deverell Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • 17 Feb 2022 | 7pm Rosie Atkins Founding Editor of Gardens Illustrated magazine
  • 3 Mar 2022 | 7pm Andy Sturgeon Internationally renowned garden designer and winner of Best Show Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2019
  • 17 Mar 2022 | 7pm Joan Morgan Renowned pomologist and fruit historian at Brogdale Collections