Top mycologist Paul Stamets (Star Trek: Discovery namesake, the top scientist who also studies mushrooms) sought to reassure viewers that while mushrooms clearly make for good seeing, they’re not the enemy.
In a recent Twitter thread, the mycologist praised HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us and applauded the show for “seeing this opportunity to take us on a literary adventure in the realm of science fiction. while harnessing the public’s fascination, fear and joy for mushrooms”. “.
He went on to note that while “these mixed emotions make for great writing … the settings, though apocalyptic, are eerily beautiful as nature digests the cities with flora and mycelium”.
As a self-proclaimed sci-fi fan, Stamets is also a scientist – and one who knows his porcinis from his matsutakes. So we can take his word for it when he says, “Let’s be real. Cordyceps cannot infect humans.” Phew.
“In fact, mushrooms today offer us some of the best solutions needed to solve many of the existential threats we face,” Stamets wrote.
“In fact, Cordyceps-like fungi could replace the majority of chemical pesticides with an environmentally sound and economically scalable solution.”
Stamets also noted that fungi are everywhere, we “live with them 24/7”, and we’re doing well so far.
“These mushrooms exist beneath every step you take,” he said.
As someone who likes to eat mushrooms in the risotto but knows very little about them, it’s actually interesting to find out. Stamets looks like a fungus to hang out with.
Anyway, if you’ve been concerned about a fungal pandemic, I hope this puts your mind at rest. Uh, I wonder what that rattling noise is coming from the kitchen…
I just finished watching the second episode of #The last of us and I have two opinions.
First of all, I’m a sci-fi fan and love bringing the creative elements of mushrooms into the narrative.
But let’s be realistic. Cordyceps cannot infect humans. pic.twitter.com/R0cLGq0GPO
— Paul Stamets (@PaulStamets) January 26, 2023