Dr Ruth Bastow awarded the Society of Biology President’s Medal

10th May 2012

The Society of Biology President’s Medal was awarded to Dr Ruth Bastow at its 2012 Annual General Meeting. The Medal is awarded annually to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the life sciences over the previous year. Ruth received the Medal for her leadership, drive, community knowledge and administrative support, which allowed the UK Plant Science Federation (UKPSF) to be founded.

Ruth says: “I am very honoured to be awarded the Society of Biology President’s medal. A great number of people have been involved in establishing the UKPSF and I feel privileged that my input has been recognised in this way.

“The UKPSF provides a unique structure to bring together all those involved in plant science research and education, from the lab to field and beyond. Only by coming together to share knowledge and expertise can we hope to further plant biology and help to provide solutions to current problems.”

Her efforts were crucial to the establishment of the UKPSF, a Special Interest Group of the Society of Biology. She worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring people on board and secure funding. Through her work for UKPSF, Ruth has created 'one voice for UK Plant and Crop Science', bringing together representatives from research communities, learned societies, educational networks and industry.

The first annual UKPSF conference (UK PlantSci 2012) was fully subscribed, representing the enthusiasm among the community for a network which brings plant scientists together. Professor Sir John Beddington, the Government’s chief scientific advisor, delivered the conference opening address and the programme covered world-class science. Ruth’s support was vital in ensuring UK PlantSci was a success.

Ruth’s support is on-going and the benefits of her work continue to be felt. She was instrumental in securing financial support for the creation of the post of UKPSF Executive Officer, who will be starting work with the Society of Biology next month.

Ruth also co-ordinates GARNet, a network supporting excellence in Arabidopsis research.

The President’s Medal was presented by Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell FSB, President of the Society of Biology since October 2009. Dr Mark Downs, Chief Executive of the Society of Biology, says: “Ruth has been instrumental in the foundation of UKPSF, which will be of huge value to the plant science community. We were very pleased to recognise her achievements with the President’s Medal.”


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