The Plant Science Panel

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Published on: August 15, 2013

Have you heard about the Plant Science Panel? It is a panel of plant scientists, including GARNet committee member Smita Kurup, and previous guest bloggers Anne Osterrieder and Alan Jones, ready and waiting to answer questions from the public about plant biotechnology and plant science.

There are regular live Q&A sessions online, during which people can ask questions via email or on the #plantsci Twitter hashtag. The first few of these sessions, which took place over summer 2012, tackled the Big Question surrounding plant science, agri-technology and the public – genetically modified foods. You can see the topics and the questions and answers on the Plant Science Panel webpage.

Now though, the Plant Science Panel is bigger than the classic GMO debate, covering the many areas of every day life that feature plant science affects. There have been Q&As about ash dieback, bee colony collapse, and organic farming. The questions submitted and answered outside of the allocated Q&A times are broader still, including the subtle differences in herbs like lemon and orange thyme, nutrient uptake by roots, and why nutrient burn causes leaf tips to brown and curl.

Postcards advertising the plant science panel are now available from Sense About Science. Frances Downey, who runs the Plant Science Panel, says, “If you are doing some outreach, giving a talk or just want to give them out to your friends and family contact Help us ensure as many people know about it as possible – request some postcards and give them out to anyone you think might want to send a question in.”


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