The following article was the most downloaded paper of the month at this Plant Science Journal - New Phytologist. In the last 18 months particularly I have been observing closely dialogue around agro-biodiversity and related realms. Its very easy in main-stream discussions to find highly polarised arguements that slam opposing sides of any number of topics in this area.
What I have been seeking out, wherever possible, is material that allows the reader to be more present in the thinking process... persuasive writing has its place but in this particular dialogue there is a genuine need for wide-ranging information on the path to accumulating some insight and independant thinking.
My own understanding of and appreciation for some of the elements of Plant Science was recently boosted considerably during my 3 week stay at the Millennium Seed Bank Project in the UK and various other sites I visited whilst OS. Whilst it's tempting to think we can get a get a decent overview from grazing on the news that commonly circulates I would agree with those who are (successfully) pushing for plant science to be taught at Secondary level in the UK Curriculum... that we are well in need of a good solid grounding in far more than back-yard gardening and current community trends for regreening spaces and growing food.
If I am to argue for anything it would be that we would continue to greatly expand individual, community and institutional initiatives whilst at the same time focusing on formal learning and further education at all levels.
Spending 3 weeks living with a bunch of plant science researchers from around the world meant each time we touched down on a single issue from any one part of the world where someone had direct experience it was sobering to be reminded how hearing from someone in a well placed position to comment at length is a very useful experience. My knowledge was limited for sure but my eagerness to learn meant asking many questions in order to make connections and meaning from multiple layers of imput.
Why plant science matters - Fitter - 2011 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library