Profit before pandemic
The literary heritage of mankind includes the works of Shakespeare (1564-1616) – some 40 plays, two great verse epics and 154 sonnets. Shakespeare names over 140 plant species – highly functional on his scenery-less stage. This required the knowledge of the Stratford author, but also of his audience. He and his characters were well aware of the ambivalence of medicinal and poisonous plants, and this is also addressed. PD Dr. Stefan Schneckenburger, former director of the Darmstadt Botanical Garden, also explained how in the Renaissance period the fight against a pandemic was subordinated to economic interests.