Non-fiction work on ecology selected for freshman reading

June 01, 2010

Before heading off for your summer fun-cation, be sure to download or shop for a copy of “The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan. Its selection by the first-year faculty committee for freshman reading will give you a plant’s-eye view of the world and how “domesticated” plants have exploited human desires to meet their needs.

According to resident botanist and professor Brett McMillan, who teaches Biology and served on the reading selection committee, “Our relationship with plants has steered the course of history; without the potato, for instance, JFK would probably never have been president.

“Pollan is trained as a journalist, not a scientist, so this book is very accessible to anyone, regardless of background. I'm a fan of this book and excited to see how it's received (by students)."

McDaniel College’s first-year students are encouraged to read a critically acclaimed book over the summer to prepare for meaningful conversations on the book during their entering academic year. Discussions are led by faculty and begin during the summer using a secure online discussion board. The summer reading is also linked closely with many orientation activities and continues to be incorporated throughout the student’s First Year Seminar.