BSPP News 30 Spring 1997 - Online Edition

The Newsletter of the British Society for Plant Pathology
Number 30, Spring 1997

BSPP at Fungus 100

BSPP was represented at "Fungus 100" in a joint stand with theJohn Innes Centre. "Fungus 100" was a conversazione held to mark theCentenary of the British Mycologi cal Society. It ran over three days (26-28thSept) in the Old Hall of the Royal Horticul tural Society, with free admissionto all members of the public. 125 exhibits were displayed, ranging from fungalfruits "in the flesh" and time lapse fungal development, through todiagnostics, cookery and fungal art.

The event was a credit to the considerable efforts of Dr Henry Tribe who hadenticed along representatives from all disciplines associated with mycology.All-in-all it seemed that no aspect of the wonders of fungi was excluded. Therewas something to cater for all tastes ¾ how do you like your fungi . . .fried, steamed, grilled, baked . . . ?

The interests of both professional and amateur mycologists was covered andpathology, both plant and human, was central to many displays. The first day ofthe exhibition saw most exhibitors engrossed in the displays of their colleaguesbut such was the size of the event that many found it difficult to get to all ofthe other 124 stands. The enthusiasm of the visitors combined with that of theexhibitors also contributed to the inability to visit all the stands.

The second day of the exhibition was "A- level" day and sixth formstudents were guided toward those exhibits (including that of BSPP) which wereof direct relevance to elements within their syllabuses. The high level ofinterest of professional bodies and learned societies in reaching out to schoolswas both surprising and gratifying. Areas and techniques recently covered withindegree courses appear to be finding their way into the syllabus of GCSE andA-level courses.

The final day (Saturday) became family day with buggies and backpacks muchin evidence. The age of the visitors may have reduced but their enthusiasmappeared increased as many of them entered into a new world of microscopes,insect killing fungi and plant pathogens.

One hundred BSPP handouts were distributed, along with membership application forms. The bright new front cover design was attractive to young and oldalike. As for how many new members will apply as a result of these - we shouldget at least one. Dr Peter Mills of HRI filled out the application form but wasdisconcerted to find that no proposer or seconder were required. (I think themembership secretary may have to keep tabs on this one).

The size of the event combined with the excitement of the exhibitors and thevisitors made for a most enjoyable and rewarding experience for all. I believethat it was beneficial to the Society that we were represented there as itprovided an excellent opportunity to reach out beyond those present atconferences and other BSPP events.

Paul Nicholson

John Innes Centre, Norwich