How to waste limited research money
Let’s try experimenting on talking to tomatoes to make them grow more/faster. I kid you not (Hi Gov. Palin!)
Much-derided claims that talking to plants can help them grow are being tested in a serious study at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) gardens.
For 30 days tomato plants at Wisley in Surrey will “listen” to voices through MP3 headphones attached to their pots.
Growth will be measured before, during and after the experiment and compared to “control plants” left in silence.
Wisley gardener Colin Crosbie says there is “solid evidence” certain sounds encourage healthy growth.
“We’re taking it very seriously. A lot of people are thinking this is an April Fool but it’s quite serious,” he told the BBC.
“We want to get a great diversity of voices. There’s great variation in the human voice, and there might just be the perfect voice for talking to plants.
Well I think this is an April Fool too, just for the record. Because this is quite silly, and I can’t imagine a serious researcher actually going through with this. Although I must say, for the sake of the truth we must do research on ridiculous claims as well, but I am willing to go on the record with this prediction: Study will fail to show that “talking” has any effect on plants. True believers will immediately rationalize that you can’t use headphones, or the volume wasn’t quite high or low enough, or that it has to have “intention” behind the talk, or that it takes a certain kind of voice etc. etc.
And the silliness does not end here, for it appears they have high hopes for this experiment.
“We’re having fun too, but it could be very beneficial.”
“For the first time we will be able to advise people not only whether it’s worth talking to their plants but exactly how it should be done.
“We may even be able to standardise the practice by recording the perfect voice for those less confident in conversing with their plants.”
Toby Buckland, lead presenter on BBC Gardeners’ World, said: “A lot of thinking behind this is that if a gardener is relaxed, it helps the plants grow better.
“Plants do pick up on your stress, that’s something that’s well known, and if you’re not confident, it’s as if it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy for failure.
“As soon as you’re relaxed, it comes together. It’s well worth looking into and I’d be interested to see the results.”
You know I still think is is an April’s Fool joke, but then I saw something that kinda makes me reconsider. The article has a photo of Prince Charles. They may be serious about this after all!