Slime Mold: Oozing with Ambition

It might be brainless, but that hasn’t stopped Hampshire College’s first “nonhuman resident scholar,” slime mold, from taking dramatic policy stances.

The organism aka Physarum polycephalum has dispatched letters urging Trump Administration officials to open borders, ban offshore drilling, and address food deserts. The organism, known for efficient problem-solving skills and its collaborative, nonpartisan nature, inspired Brian Resnick to point out that the White House needs a science advisor—adding, “this slime mold is free.” (Except during its office hours.)

It’s not just a prank: Jonathon Keats, the experimental philosopher behind the appointment of slime mold, says it’s a way to get people to break free of assumptions and consider other forms of intelligence.


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