New BSPP outreach officer appointed

20 Apr 2015

News image
Andy Crouch Photography

Phil Smith, the new BSPP outreach officer (April 2015) was a member of the Society back in 1990 during 'his first proper job' working in James Brown's powdery mildew group, so this has been quite a protracted disease cycle! A 13 year research career in Norwich followed, during which time Phil completed a PhD studying the role of mycotoxins in Fusarium (under Paul Nicholson), and a post-doc with Lesley Boyd studying cereal rusts.

Phil hung-up his labcoat and dived into the world of science education being appointed the coordinator of Norfolk's Teacher Scientist Network in April 2003 (www.tsn.org.uk). TSN is a genuinely bottom-up education charity that responds to teacher need. Working locally in Norfolk and Suffolk, TSN is a National exemplar of best practice for the effective linking of the worlds of science and education.

In 2008, Phil received an MBE for services to science education that he attributes not just to his own science communication endeavors but recognition of the success of the Network as well. TSN is now celebrating its 20th anniversary and Phil continues to run it, bringing to his role as BSPP outreach officer over 10 years experience in educational outreach, event management and resource development.

"I am excited to be offered this role for BSPP giving me the opportunity to marry together my interest in plant pathology with my passion for science education. I applaud BSPP’s long-term commitment to outreach. Too few teachers and their pupils have no real understanding of what plant pathology is and its role in our world, and in the long-term that needs to change. I want to support BSPP to bring about that change" commented Phil.