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Talking Plants

Physicist Dr Jen Gupta and comedian Alice Fraser travel the parallel worlds of science and sci-fi. On the way they discover real-life science that sounds too strange to be true.

Astro-physicist Jen Gupta and comedian Alice Fraser travel the parallel worlds of science and sci-fi.

Starting with the latest books and films, they discover real life science that sounds too strange to be true - from babies grown in bags, via black hole Jacuzzis, to flowers that behave like our ears.

In this episode, Jen and Alice investigate the science behind Sue Burke's book, Semiosis, about a mysterious breed of intelligent plants. They talk to Sue about how watching her houseplants formed the inspiration for the book. Then they ask the linguist Dr Hannah Little if we could ever learn the language of something that has a completely different understanding of what communication means. Finally, Professor Lilach Hadany explains how a radical new study might show plants are listening to each other - and maybe even to us.

Produced by Joe Sykes and Rich Ward
Executive Producer: Peggy Sutton
A Somethin’ Else production for BBC Radio 4

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28 minutes

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