Dr M is stuck in a train somewhere near Slough as he heads to the second meeting of the UK Plant Science Federation working group on training and skills to save UK botany from oblivion!
Important work this and fortunately he is not alone, the working group has no fewer than sixteen keen and able people botanically beavering away on the issues and outcomes.
The group is chaired by Prof Simon Leather (@EntoProf) and you can read his recent blog post for more info on all of this here.
The group has their work cut out today as they flesh out ways and means of achieving short, medium and long-term actions:
- Establishing a young persons UK plant science ambassador scheme
- Establishing a plant science information portal on training and careers opportunities and funding
- Engaging with employers to define critical plant science skills gaps and needs from the industries
- Engaging with funders (BBSRC, NERC, plant-based industries etc) for increased new support for field and whole-organism training and research
Medium term actions
- Degree accreditation and QAA engagement
- Getting more UK botanists into universities by securing funding, accreditation and employability related publicity.
These are the working group’s draft headline issues, today will see them elaborated and refined for the final implementation plan which will be presented to the UK Plant Science Federation Executive later in the year and dissemination to an eagerly awaiting world and, ultimately, for the saving of UK botany!
A lot rests on getting this botanical train back in motion…!