Editorial – Have you ever considered what good value you get from your membership of BSPP?
Most scientific societies offer their members a discount on the price of its journals. BSPP is one of the few that gives its members a free subscription to its journal, “Plant Pathology”. BSPP is well-known for its conferences, covering every aspect of plant pathology, from the front line of “muddy boot” advisory work in fields and orchards to the “blue skies” of molecular research. BSPP’s members’ interests cover all types of pathogens, from viruses to parasitic plants, – and fungi and bacteria of course.
Not only do members get reduced rates for registration at BSPP conferences, but 1998 will bring a bonus: the Assistance and Bursary Funds to help members toattend the 7th International Congress of Plant Pathology in Edinburgh. Many societies stop there (or well short of that point), but BSPP, through its Travel Fund, also offers its members substantial financial help (up to two-thirds of the cost) for overseas visits and attending conferences.
And we’re not bankrupt yet! Three new services have been started recently. The Undergraduate Bursary Scheme, begun in 1996, gives students work experience in plant pathology labs in their summer vacation. The Innovation Fund supports new initiatives to promote education and research in plant pathology, while the Fellowship Scheme provides training for members for up to three months.
BSPP has founded one of the first fully-electronic, peer-reviewed journalsin biology, Molecular Plant Pathology On-Line. Can your library’s budget stretch that far? Yes indeed: MPPOL is free to anyone with access to the world-wide-web. A less tangible (less mercenary?) reason for being a member of BSPP is that the Society is the body that promotes UK plant pathology, as a science and a profession. There’s only one mystery about BSPP’s membership: why aren’t there even more members? With so many personal benefits for members, and the Society’s vigorous support for plant pathology, every pathologist in the UK, whatever their specialisation, should be a member.
Please tell any of your pathologist colleagues who haven’t yet joined BSPP about the Society. Our Membership Secretary is waiting to hear from them!