Paul Stamets believes that mushrooms can save our lives, restore our ecosystems and transform other worlds.

Why you should listen

Entrepreneurial mycologist Paul Stamets seeks to rescue the study of mushrooms from forest gourmets and psychedelic warlords. The focus of Stamets' research is the Northwest's native fungal genome, mycelium, but along the way he has filed 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies, including pesticidal fungi that trick insects into eating them, and mushrooms that can break down the neurotoxins used in nerve gas.

There are cosmic implications as well. Stamets believes we could terraform other worlds in our galaxy by sowing a mix of fungal spores and other seeds to create an ecological footprint on a new planet.

What others say

“Once you’ve heard 'renaissance mycologist' Paul Stamets talk about mushrooms, you'll never look at the world -- not to mention your backyard -- in the same way again.” — Linda Baker,

Paul Stamets’ TED talk

More news and ideas from Paul Stamets


9 ways mushrooms could drastically improve the world

October 29, 2013

In today’s TED Talk, biologist Mohamed Hijri directs our attention to an incredible biotechnology — not one he invented, but one that’s been around for 450 million years. They are: mycorrhiza, microscopic mushrooms that grow in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of plants. These mushrooms are incredible at helping plants find phosphorous, an essential […]

Continue reading

Your weekend reading: The purpose of life, an excellent mushroom timelapse

July 5, 2013

Interesting, informative, bizarre. Here’s a round-up of interwebs reading from the past few weeks: Mushrooms are not at the top of my favorite foods list but, above, see why they are now at the top of my favorite things to watch a timelapse video of.  Shot by cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg (watch his TED Talks) and starring mushroom […]

Continue reading