RESEARCHER GETS ON SOAPBOX TO EXPLAIN BLACKGRASS THREAT
Taking part in a recent 'Soapbox Science' event, Laura Crook from the Weed Ecology group at Rothamsted Research talks with the public about work on herbicide resistant blackgrass
On Saturday 9th July 2016, I took part in a Soapbox Science event at Milton Keynes shopping centre which involved standing on my ‘soapbox’ for an hour speaking to shoppers passing by about blackgrass, herbicide resistance and my role as a technician at Rothamsted Research. Soapbox Science is a platform for promoting women and the science that they do.
The event was well received with plenty of members of the public stopping to listen and engage, asking questions and looking at the blackgrass plants that I’d brought along as props.
My talk was one of 12, with women talking about the science that they study and topics ranging from global food sustainability to plant survival strategies; water-less, non-sewer linked toilets to the northern lights of Jupiter. All of these fantastic women did a great job of engrossing the public with plenty of props and activities to get involved with and hopefully inspire young people into a career in science.
The event was a great opportunity to tell people about the importance of technicians in science and to make the public aware of herbicide resistance and the huge problem that farmers are facing through the persistence of blackgrass. I enjoyed the whole experience and am really proud of my achievement. It has definitely given me confidence to speak in public again in the future.
About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 20151. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.
Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.
We are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry. We are also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT).
For more information, visit https://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/; Twitter @Rothamsted
1Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence: A synthesis of the available evidence, by Séan Rickard (Oct 2015)
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.