7 episodes

Poisonings, trafficking and zombies.  James Wong reveals the roles plants and fungi play in thrilling, sinister and heart-breaking real-life stories.

Hear from scientists and horticulturalists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as they use their world-leading expertise to solve crimes, support new laws and heal the human body.

 

Unearthed - Mysteries from an unseen world Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

    • Documentary

Poisonings, trafficking and zombies.  James Wong reveals the roles plants and fungi play in thrilling, sinister and heart-breaking real-life stories.

Hear from scientists and horticulturalists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as they use their world-leading expertise to solve crimes, support new laws and heal the human body.

 

    The Disappearing Forests: Is ecocide a crime?

    The Disappearing Forests: Is ecocide a crime?

    Time is running out for the world’s forests, ecosystems and the life they support. The consequences for human life and climate could be catastrophic – unless we take action now.

    In this episode James Wong speaks to scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to understand how forest loss and timber trafficking presents massive problems for future generations – and how they are tackling the illegal trade of wood

    He’ll also hear their different opinions on whether or not ecocide – or the deliberate damaging of environments – should be outlawed internationally.

    Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight.

    And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed.

    Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi.

    www.kew.org

    With thanks to Hague Talks for use of this audio clip.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgQ9kVzy1TM

    https://www.haguetalks.com

    Find out how World Forest ID is using georeferenced wood samples to verify timber origin and species.

    https://worldforestid.org

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    Harm or Harmony: How safe are we from the foods we eat?

    Harm or Harmony: How safe are we from the foods we eat?

    4 years ago, 15 year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse lost her life to a severe sesame allergy.

    In this episode, James Wong speaks to Natasha’s parents Tania and Nadim, who worked with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to confirm the plant substance that caused their daughter’s death and on their fight to change the law.

    We hear from the experts: Professor Monique Simmonds OBE explains how Kew was able to help, and Professor Richard Ellis from the University of Reading discusses the risks and safety protocols behind our plant-based foods.

    Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight.

    You can follow the work of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation at

    www.NARF.org.uk

    And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed.

    Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi.

    www.kew.org

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37 min
    Zombies, tripping and the everyday normality of fantastic fungi

    Zombies, tripping and the everyday normality of fantastic fungi

    In this episode James Wong learns how there’s nothing weirder and more wonderful than the everyday.

    Hear about the depression trials that have seen sufferers tripping on magic mushrooms, and the zombie fungus that causes ants to explode.

    Fungi may get a bad press for growing on your shower curtain or fridge, but there’s so much more to this amazing kingdom, so we gave it a whole episode.

    James meets mycologists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to hear about the amazing collections and some of the mysteries only just being uncovered; from your porcini to your laundry

    Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight.

    And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed.

    Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi.

     

    www.kew.org

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    Curious cures and mysterious medicines

    Curious cures and mysterious medicines

    Deep in some of the world’s most hard-to-reach places lies a wealth of plant knowledge that could offer the next life-saving cure.

    In this episode, James Wong explores how Kew scientists works alongside remote communities on the ground to understand plants’ medicinal properties.

    And there’s a history lesson in it too, as James learns of the enormous impact that humble quinine, (found in your G&T), had throughout colonialism through to the world wars.  

    What is yet to be discovered? And what do we stand to lose if we do not protect and respect world ecosystems?

    Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight.

    And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed.

    Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi.

    www.kew.org

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min
    The curry killer: How Kew helped bring a murderer to justice

    The curry killer: How Kew helped bring a murderer to justice

    Plants have the power to cure – and also kill. In this episode we hear how a spurned woman murdered her lover with just a mysterious plant substance.

    The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was instrumental in the race to identify the material, and how it was used, so to bring the killer to justice.

    James Wong hears how specialist plant knowledge uncovered the mystery from forensic samples, and a medical toxicologist shares the real challenges doctors face from plant toxins.

    Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight.

    And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed.

    Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi.

    www.kew.org

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min
    Uncovering a multi-million pound smuggling trade

    Uncovering a multi-million pound smuggling trade

    One wintery morning in 2014, somebody stole a tiny and extremely rare waterlily from the collection at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It was never seen again, and they were never caught.

    James Wong begins his journey into the mysterious world of plants and fungi by looking at the criminal underworld of plant trafficking.

    Speaking to Border Force, Kew scientists and advisors, James learns about the little-appreciated fight to protect plants from extinction, exploitation, and smugglers hiding on the web – and how many of us are guilty of ‘plant blindness’.

    Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight.

    And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed.

    Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi.

    www.kew.org

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/border-force

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min

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