Dr. Cary Fowler Returns Home to Celebrate His New Book on the Global Seed Vault



Memphian Cary Fowler is returning this weekend to discuss and sign his new book, Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault.


Fowler attended Rhodes College and is best known as the “father” of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. He has been described by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as an “inspirational symbol of peace and food security for the entire humanity.” The Seed Vault provides ultimate security for more than 850,000 unique crop varieties, the raw material for all future plant breeding and crop improvement efforts. Fowler proposed the creation of this Arctic facility to Norway, headed the international committee that


 developed the plan for its establishment, and now chairs the international council that oversees its operations.


This big, beautiful book is the comprehensive story of how the Vault came to be. Its breathtaking photographs by Mari Tefre offer a stunning guided tour of the vault, the windswept beauty and majesty of Svalbard, and the enchanting community of people in Longyearbyen.


More on Fowler:

He served as the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust from 2005 to 2012. Fowler has received several honorary degrees, including an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Simon Fraser University, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree from Rhodes College. He received the Right Livelihood Award with Pat Mooney in 1985 for his work in agriculture and the preservation of biodiversity. Fowler has also received the Vavilov Medal from the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In 2010, he was one of 10 recipients of the 16th Heinz Awards (with special focus on global change). In 2012, he was awarded the “Wind Beneath my Wings" award jointly with his wife Amy P. Goldman at Bette Midler's annual “Hulaween” party. He was the baccalaureate speaker at the 2013 Rhodes College commencement ceremonies and received the 2015 William L. Brown Award for Excellence in Genetic Resource Conservation from the Missouri Botanical Garden. He is the author of the books, Unnatural Selection: Technology, Politics, and Plant Evolution, and Shattering: Food, Politics, and the Loss of Genetic Diversity (with Pat Mooney).

 “The Global Seed Vault is an extraordinary project, and Seeds on Ice is an extraordinary book — in equal measure fascinating, beautiful, and haunting.” — Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction

Fowler has been to the top of the world to ensure the safety of the diversity of crops globally. Make the trek to The Booksellers at Laurelwood on Saturday to hear all about it.

Dr. Cary Fowler
The Booksellers at Laurelwood

Saturday, Dec. 10

2 p.m.

Dr. Cary Fowler
  • Dr. Cary Fowler

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