Susanne Wedlich – (Natural) Intelligence

Susanne Wedlich

Journalist and Author of Slime - A Natural History

From The Conference August 29, 2022

“Oceans - I am sorry to say this - are covered from top to bottom in slime.”

Life Is Slimey. What is slime? You wonder about that often, don’t you? Susanne Wedlich, the author of the book “Slime - A Natural History” does, too. If you ever write a book that several booksellers refuse to put on the shelves in sheer disgust, you will know that you’re onto something. 

Inspired by love stories of snails, Susanne became an expert on slime. Have you realised how much slime is all around us? With the statement “all life is slimey”, Susanne sums up the versatile nature of slime. Sometimes it functions as glue, lubricant, filter or for defence purposes. Sometimes it is part of larger networks like wetlands. There is no exact definition of slime but it is rather a quality of material. Think of stiff water - slime accumulates a lot of water that is bound in a multidimensional network. It has the very cool ability to keep danger away, while remaining open. Have you ever wondered about how to establish healthy boundaries for yourself, while being open for connection with other beings? Slime can do that.

It is smart and has memory - this was exemplified by an experiment in Tokyo where researchers put slime on a city map and placed oatmeal on the outside edges. Slime then figured out the most effective way to reach the oatmeal. Fascinatingly, the slime trails resembled the actual transportation network map of Tokyo. She concluded her talk with the urge to find and preserve the right balance of slime in our lives: too much and too little is equally bad.

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