Monica Gagliano tells the story of her PhD research as a marine biologist, studying the evolutionary ecology of tropical fish. Day after day with a scuba tank, she became a familiar to her subjects so that the fish had no fear of her, and came right up to her face. She knew them intimately, but when the experiment was over, her plan was to capture and kill them, measuring hormone levels and gathering all those biochemical data you can only get by cutting and grinding them. That last morning, when she was planning to "sacrifice" the fish in the afternoon, none of them would come near her. Somehow they knew, and Monica knew that her idea of subject and object as a scientist must change.
Gagliano went on to study plants, which she says are also sentient beings. In her inaugural experiment, she cut off all the channels by which one plant is known to communicate with another: no chemical exchange, no light exchange, no sound-and still the plants behaved differently depending on which plants were growing next door. Somehow, the plants knew