Geraint Parry is the new president of The Global Plant Council (GPC)
The SEB is delighted to share that Geraint Parry was appointed the new president of The Global Plant Council (GPC), our long-time partner organisation.
Read the official letter written by Geraint Parry:
My name is Geraint Parry and I'm honoured to have taken on the role of GPC President. I have been aware of the GPC since it's inauguration by my friend and colleague Ruth Bastow so it is fantastic to see the great progress it has made over the past decade. I would especially like to thank by predessor Professor Ros Gleadow for the committement she has made to the GPC.
Following an academic career that explored the cell biology of Arabidopsis I am now the Executive Officer of the Association of Applied Biologists; a learned society that promotes this theme of biology with a focus on plants and improving agricultural productivity. Over the coming year I am excited to work with the GPC board of directors and especially Dr Isabel Mendoza, who is the driving force behind GPC outputs.
The GPC provides a superb opportunity for scientists from 27 member organisations to have a common voice on topics of global importance. These include uptake and regulation of new breeding technologies, management of digital sequencing information and the promotion of early career plant scientists.
Over the past month GPC benefited from observer status at the COP15: the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting which took place in Montreal. This has allowed GPC to promote the views of plant scientists in those important discussions about equitable-sharing of sequence information. During 2023 we expect to gain observer status at UNFCCC COP28 taking place at the UAE. This will allow GPC to promote the importance of the plants when discussing mitigation of agricultural emissions and protection of biodiversity.
The Nature group recently published an editorial on the important of funding fundamental research, albeit without compromising support for applied research. This is particularly relevant in the plant sciences that are poorly funded in relation to medical-facing research. In many current situations funders do not help themselves by requiring plant scientists to do too much within a single project. For example when a scientist is attempting to elucidate the fundamental nature of a signalling-pathway there is little value in asking for a 'pathway-to-impact'. This will often dilute the resources assigned to the fundamental aspect whilst making little progress toward applied goals. Conversely when a field scientist is looking to improve productivity there is no immediate requirement to obtain a detailed mechanistic understanding of the process but rather that the increased productivity or disease-resistance can be achieved.
Although GPC does not fund research projects we are committed to raising awareness about how different countries use their available resources to support both fundamental and applied research and to highlight where successful mechanisms exist through which links can be made between these two strands of research.
We continue to encourage organisations that are not yet GPC members to discuss the option of joining with their local communities so they can also join our growing movement that promotes plant science.