Victoria University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning will be hosting a lecture series in November, Beyond the Garden: A Botanical Science Perspective. This is a 4 session course including a final outdoor lab session at Wellington’s Botanical Gardens.

We’ve teamed up with botanical commentator Reg Harris to bring one of the sessions especially to the Friends in Te Papa as part of our Science for Lunch series, looking specifically at the medicinal capabilities of plants to help with a range of conditions.  We will cover conditions such as high cholesterol, blood clots, pain, oxidative stress, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, organophosphate/nerve gas poisoning, and cancer. Particular focus will be on the scientific basis for how things work. Bring your lunch box along and enjoy eating and erudition simultaneously!

Harris’ longer series includes the following sessions:

  • SESSION ONE: ‘Botanic intrigues: from g-forces to Agincourt’: This session has a wide span, encompassing basic botany and associated fields such as physics, biochemistry and physiology and will climb from ground-level to tree-top in doing so. It will draw attention to biological phenomena, engineering-based applications and historical events where plants and their products played an important role.
  • SESSION TWO: ‘Medical conditions and plants that can help’: You will look at selected medicinal applications of plant biochemicals to ameliorate high cholesterol, blood clots, pain, oxidative stress, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, urinary tract infections, skeletal damage, organophosphate/nerve gas poisoning, and some cancers.
  • SESSION THREE: ‘Plants and Humans’: we’re closer than you think’: You will review cell structure and functions, cellular respiration, oxygen management, heat generation, wound healing, ‘childbirth’, chirality, and primeval links.
  • SESSION FOUR: Field Trip: Wellington Botanic Garden will be the arena for an ‘outdoor lab’ to reinforce and supplement the lecture presentations. This ‘walk-and-talk’ will commence at the Lookout, next to the top Cable Car station [Upland Road] and will follow an easy downhill, well-paved, route.

Further information and pricing can be found on Victoria University’s website.