UK Plant Sciences Federation launched to tackle global challenges

22nd Nov 2011

With an increasing urgency to answer the challenges of global issues such as food security and climate change, a new unified body has been set up by the Society of Biology. UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF), launched this week, incorporates the vast range of plant science researchers, educators and industries. The group will bring an inclusive and comprehensive dialogue across the plant and crop science community.

UK Plant Science is playing a role in meeting the needs of an increasing global population and could do more. In a world with a current population of 7 billion people, underpinning research into plant science and crop production and its delivery through a vibrant commercial sector is more important than ever. UKPSF is committed to integration of research and development to meet these challenges in an environmentally sustainable manner.

UK Plant Science also has a major role in other grand challenges for UK science Research & Development. Human health, energy resources, and biodiversity and habitat conservation are challenges for all UK Science sectors and the work and efforts represented by UKPSF Member Organisations make major contributions to all three.

The UK has a reputation for world class research and development in the plant and crop sciences, and a rich diversity of research groups that reflect the importance of plants for the health and wealth of the nation. UKPSF will be a single point of contact to represent these fantastic UK resources, highlight their outputs and maximise impact through co-ordination of disperse activities.

UK Plant Science can only meet its potential through stronger engagement within and beyond the plant science community. For the first time, the breadth of the UK Plant Science sector is being brought together - basic research, applied research, outreach, industry and education in a unique new structure.

The Society of Biology welcomes plant science groups from across the sector to join the Federation; they aim to bring together basic and applied research, outreach, industry and education to work and learn together. This exciting new initiative will serve as ‘one voice for UK plant science’ to inform policy makers, funders and society.

Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University London said:

“Plants are rightly returning to centre stage of food policy for many reasons: health, environment, climate, land use, biodiversity.”

Professor Giles Oldroyd, Programme Leader at the John Innes Centre commented:

“We in the UK should be proud of our impact in plant science and I hope that the Plant Sciences Federation will ensure that we maintain our international standing”


Jackie Caine

Science Policy Officer

Society of Biology

Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London, WC1N 2JU

Direct line: 020 7685



Notes for editors

The UKPSF was launched on Wednesday 23 November, at Chares Darwin House in London, with a keynote address by botanist and celebrated author, Dr Sandra Knapp from the Natural History Museum.

The Society of Biology is a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development; supporting their members, and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences.

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