Phi Beta Kappa Scholar Sir Peter Crane to Speak at Wells

Yale University’s Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies will deliver the 2013 PBK Visiting Scholar Lecture




4:45 pm


E. Margie Matthew Filter Hostetter ’62 Lecture Room, 209 Stratton Hall

General Info

Wells College welcomes Sir Peter Crane, the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, for a campus residency and public lecture titled “The Future of Plants.” The talk will take place at 4:45 p.m. Monday, February 25 in the E. Margie Matthew Filter Hostetter ’62 Lecture Room, 209 Stratton Hall on the Wells College campus. This event is free and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Peter Crane has been Carl W. Knobloch Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale since 2009. His work focuses on the diversity of plant life, its origin and fossil history, its current status and its conservation and use. He is the coauthor of the book “The Origin and Diversification of Land Plants” as well as “Early Flowers and Angiosperm Evolution,” published in 2011. His latest book, “A Biography of Ginkgo: The Tree that Time Forgot,” will be published in March 2013.

From 1992 to 1999, Crane was director of the Field Museum in Chicago. He followed that with an appointment as director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where, along with other programs on conserving and understanding plant diversity, he worked on the initial establishment of the Millennium Seed Bank. He returned to the U.S. in 2006 as the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor at the University of Chicago.

Elected to the Royal Society in 1998, Crane was knighted in the United Kingdom in 2004. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a member of the German Academy Leopoldina. He serves on the board of WWF-US, the Global Crop Diversity Trust and several other organizations involved in the conservation of biodiversity. Crane earned both his B.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Reading, U.K.         

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program makes available a number of distinguished scholars for two-day visits to colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. They spend two days on each campus, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions, and giving a public lecture open to the entire academic community. Now entering its 57th year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent 600 Scholars on nearly 5,000 visits since it was established in 1956.

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. It has chapters at 280 institutions and more than half a million members throughout the country. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression. The Wells College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Xi of New York, was founded in 1932.