Twelve more days and 2020 will come to an end. All of us have dealt with a lot this year. Humanity witnessed devastating wildfires, racial injustice, economic recessions and definitely, a global pandemic. While we struggled to cope up with all these disastrous effects, 2020 also proceeded on its way to become the third warmest year on record, a massive climate phenomenon. So, before the year ends, I thought of discussing about our environment and assessing whatever I learnt about it. Primarily I’ll talk about the knowledge I gained about the plant life in the environment by reviewing a book I read.
Thoughts before reading :
The Secret of Plants in the Environment, is a non-fiction book by Dr.Rishikesh Upadhyay. Formerly a research fellow of Assam University, Dr. Upadhyay is currently the Assistant professor of Plant Environmental Physiology and Biochemistry at Haflong Government College. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the UGC Research Fellowship Award, Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, Elsevier Science Reviewer Recognition Award,etc.
I expected the book to be educational and well packed with detailed explanations. I enjoy reading academic books, and this was the first time I got a review copy of a book from the author’s side (Hurrah!😊), so I was beyond excited to read it.
“The Secret of Plants in the environment addresses environmental concerns such as the different types of stress situations and plant adaptation to changing environments, including the positive and negative effects of stress on the growth of crops, the beginning stages of plant life cycles, and plant output.”
My Review :
The description definitely sounds academic, and no doubt, the book is a great one from that perspective.
The author’s note says, “This book is an outcome of the painstaking acquisition of knowledge, experience and learning regarding plants and their relative environments that inspired the author during the course of teaching and performing research.“ And it clearly shows the author’s dedication for the book.The information contained in the book is well distributed and throughout the book, there isn’t any diversions from the overall motive. Reader can enjoy a concise and focused read.
In the book, Dr.Upadhyay explains the challenges plants face. Just like us, plants also have their own mechanisms to combat and respond to stress. That’s what the book iterates comprehensively.
Primarily, it revolves around the positive and negative effects of stress on growth of plants. With total seventeen chapters, the reader develops a clear understanding of the way plants respond to temperature, chemical agents, electricity, light, magnetic field and radiations. Also, I learnt what happens to plants during drought, flash floods and water logging; as well as how they fight heavy metal stress and pollution.
Plants are sessile, yet they have their own mechanism to deal with the stressors. It’s fascinating to know about how plants adapt to the changing environment conditions.
A beautiful thing about the book is that every chapter begins with a quote of eminent scientific as well as literary personalities. It starts with a quote from Seth Adam Smith and ends with a quote from none other than the great Richard Feynman (one of my favourite scientists!). The quotes give a literary touch to the overall academic motive, and enthuses a freshness to the chapter beginnings. I really want to include Feynman’s quote which starts the epilogue :
As long as I’ve gone this far, I can’t just leave it after I’ve found out so much about it. I have to keep going to find out ultimately what is the matter with it in the end.Richard P. Feynman, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”
I learnt about a lot of interesting phenomena about plant life from the book. It also helped me academically, it enhanced my interest in the Plant Physiology we’ve been reading in school. Though the book contain advanced science content, with patience you can gradually delve deeper. For early career scientists and research scholars, the book is a great resource. Also if you are an environment lover with enthusiasm in science and wish to learn more, I highly recommend this book.
You can connect with Dr.Rishikesh Upadhyay on Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.
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