In this episode we talk to Maria Vorontsova, who is a botanist at Kew Gardens, who was born in Russia and came to the UK when she was young. We talk about her experiences of religion and atheism in regards to her Russian roots and in her interactions with people during her field work in Africa. What does it mean to be an atheist? Does atheism mean that someone doesn’t have a moral compass? Where does atheism fit in with interfaith dialog, and why does the interfaith dialog NOT include atheism?
Maria Vorontsova studies grasses and everything about them at the Kew Botanic Gardens in the UK, with a particular focus on tropical African diversity and poorly known lineages, their evolutionary history, and the history of tropical grasslands and savannas. She is also interested in the history and development of classifications and in botanical nomenclature and bibliography. She looks after GrassBase and develop it to bring together global taxonomic knowledge across all Poaceae and to build it into a broad research utility. If it is about grasses, she wants to hear about it!