The place of plants in economics

24 May 2024

Conference – Meeting with Samuel Ferey, researcher at BETA and professor at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Management of Nancy, organised by the Botanical Garden of Nancy.

Free admission subject to availability.

Date: Wednesday 05 June at 2.30pm

Venue: Jean-Marie Pelt Botanical Garden, 100 rue du jardin botanique, 54600 Villers-lès-Nancy, France


For the economy, plants are a resource in the same way as any other commodity. This utilitarian approach and the assimilation of plants to goods that can be valued by a price is not at all obvious. The aim of the conference will be to retrace the major stages in the gradual integration of plants into the economy. By recalling the first debates, in the 18th century, between those who saw agriculture as the basis of value and the advocates of an economic physics that focused on the interaction between man and his natural environment, and then by understanding the debates of the 19th century that made all material things the basis of utility, we will be able to put contemporary debates into perspective. Particular emphasis will be placed on the debate between contemporary theories that defend the effectiveness of the appropriation and commodification of plants and those that, on the contrary, attempt to propose new forms of interaction between the human economy and the natural world of plants.