From Another Kingdom

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Exhibition & Book

The BMS strives to bring the wonders and importance of fungi to the attention of the general public. Our most recent project is the exhibition “From Another Kingdom” at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), for which we have provided the scientific content. It is housed in the splendid new John Hope Gateway Exhibition Centre at the RBGE and runs through August to the end of November 2010, including the duration of IMC9. The exhibition is designed to appeal to a wide audience of adults and children and to provide insights into fungi in an exciting and appealing way. It takes place within an Alice in Wonderland space of giant mushrooms, and uses dramatic imagery, audio and film to illustrate a wide range of aspects of fungal biology. It is anticipated that several hundred thousand visitors will attend over the four months that the exhibition runs. Delegates from IMC9 are particularly welcome! As well as the exhibition itself there is a full programme of educational activities, talks, demonstrations, forays and other innovative events. Some of the events will take place at the Dawyck Botanic Gardens. From Edinburgh the exhibition will move to various venues in the UK and hopefully to continental Europe and beyond.

The BMS are putting on two afternoons of fun-filled fungus activities for families on 16 and 17 October 2010 at the RBGE. These will probably include investigating dung fungi, making fungus collages, exploring how fruit bodies erupt, a fungus treasure hunt, and a guided fungal walk around the gardens. Several BMS members are giving fungus talks/ demonstrations in a full programme during the exhibition period.

A book aimed at the general public has been published to accompany the exhibition. As well as chapters covering the main aspects of the biology, ecology and role of fungi in the functioning of this planet, the book also considers fungi in art, literature and human lives, provides some recipes and a few personal accounts of specific fungi.

The chapters are:

  • Introducing The Fungi – Nick Read and Lynne Boddy
  • The Hidden Kingdom - Roy Watling
  • Recycling the World - Lynne Boddy, Geoff Robson and Naresh Magan
  • Plant Pests and Perfect Partners - Lynne Boddy, Paul Dyer and Stefan Helfer
  • Animal Slayers, savious and Socialists - Harry Evans and Lynne Boddy
  • Amazing Chemists - Milton Wainwright
  • Fungi and Humanity – Gordon Rutter
  • Fungal Monsters in Science Fiction - Heather Kiernan
  • Growing edible Fungi - Patrick Hickey
  • The Fungal Forager - John Wright
  • Safeguarding the Future - David Minter

Not only is the factual content excellent but also the colour images are wonderful. The book should delight readers ranging from those who have never heard of fungi, through keen field mycologists and students of biology, to the most eminent professors of mycology.

The book is priced at £20 and can be obtained from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh  Publication Dept. +44 (0)131 248 2819. Postage will be free to BMS  members on orders sent to a UK address, if Mycologist News is quoted at the time of ordering.