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The essay competition run by Royal Dutch/Shell and The Economist has reached its fourth year. This time the question posed was "Do we need nature?" Nearly 6,000 people, from all over the world, offered answers.
The first prize of $20,000 was won by Diane Brooks Pleninger from Anchorage, Alaska. Complete essay in PDF
D.P. Good evening, viewers. Our guest is Pilobolus crystallinus, author of the award winning bestseller, "Do We Need Mankind? A Fungal Perspective". Mr Pilobolus is a member of the kingdom Fungi, class Zygomycetes. He is a scholar, lecturer, dung-dweller, and author. Welcome, Mr Pilobolus.
P.c. Thank you, Diane. Good to be here.
D.P. Mr Pilobolus, your most recent book raises tantalising questions about the future of the biosphere and the role that you and other inhabitants will play in it. Tell us how you came to write it.
P.c. The book resulted from a series of symposia I attended over the past two centuries under the sponsorship of the World Federation of Fungi, on the topic, "What Does Nature Need?" The Academy of the WFF is constituted of one delegate from each family of fungi. I was fortunate to represent the Pilobolaceae.