The ginkgo is the elder statesman of the plant world, and evolutionary biologist Sir Peter Crane’s knowledgeable new book is as absorbing as any biography of a Churchill or a Lincoln. Perhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, the ginkgo has remained stubbornly unchanged for more than 200 million years. A living link to the age of dinosaurs, it survived the great ice ages as a relic in China, but earned a reprieve when people first found it useful about a thousand years ago. Today the ginkgo is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity. In his talk Professor Crane, curator of paleobotany at the Peabody and dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, will tell the rich and fascinating life story of a tree saved from extinction—a story that offers hope for other botanical biographies that are still being written.