How can basic plant science contribute to feeding the world?

Datum: 2019-08-27

Tid: 09:30 - 15:15

Adress: Frescativägen 40, Stockholm

Lokal: Stora Hörsalen, Swedish Museum of Natural History

Symposium organised by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with the Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society (SPPS) and the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). The symposium is now available as video.

Watch the other lectures from the symposium at our YouTube channel

Many of humanity’s major challenges – for example formulated in the global goals of sustainable development – concern plants and food production. A growing population, climate change and increasing competition for freshwater, fertilizers and cultivable land increase the pressure of plant scientists and plant breeders to deliver innovations and new varieties that can meet these challenges. Applied research is virtually always based on achievements in basic research, this also applies in this case. Today’s industry and agriculture is based on yesterday’s basic research, and today’s basic research will form the basis for future applications.

In the symposium, world-leading plant scientists will give examples of how basic research on plants led to historical breakthroughs with impact for mankind, from Mendel’s counting of peas in the garden of his Brno monastery to the development of novel crops. Furthermore, the symposium will show how today’s research has the potential to improve our future, but also what problems must be solved to realize this, in a world where facts and science is increasingly questioned.

The symposium will be organised back-to-back with the biannual SPPS conference, which will be held in Umeå on August 28-30.


Registration and coffee

Dan Larhammar, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Stefan Jansson, Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 

Genetics, from Mendel over McClintock to today
Professor Ottoline Leyser, Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK.
Chair: Roland von Bothmer, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Agrobacterium and biotechnology
Professor emeritus Marc van Montagu, Belgium
Chair: Roland von Bothmer, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Chair: Roland von Bothmer, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Photosynthesis and metabolism in a changing World
Professor Mark Stitt, Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Chair: Roland von Bothmer, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Panel discussion
Plant science and society: What can they expect from each other?
Kjell Ivarsson, Senior Policy Advisor, The Federation of Swedish Farmers and COPA-COGECA. 
Katherine Kahn, Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Carina Knorpp, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation.
Annette Schneegans, Senior Expert, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission.
Gunnar Öquist, Professor, Umeå University.
Chair: Stefan Jansson, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

General discussion
Chair: Ove Nilsson, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Concluding remarks
Stefan Jansson, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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