So many issues in plant science (and indeed in science in general) don’t have the simple answers we expected. Organic farming can cause environmental damage, GM crops have potential to increase food security, and some biofuels can increase rather than decrease carbon emissions.
I can be hard to keep up with these debates, and reliable information is often difficult to find. Forming an evidence-based opinion can be very challenging when evidence points in different directions, particularly as many people providing the information have a campaign agenda.
So at the Society of Biology we were very pleased to be approached by Sense About Science with an idea to tackle this: an expert panel ready to give accurate answers to any questions related to plant science.
Today Sense About Science’s online portal has been launched as a one-stop-shop for plant science questions, and the first questions are coming in.
Leading research institutions and learned societies across the UK came together to make the public panel, whose expertise includes agriculture, bioenergy, biochemistry, plant pathology and genetics.
Plant research is central to decisions about future energy, land use wildlife, environmental protection, pest problems, nutrition and food safety. These debates will benefit from the opinions of people from all backgrounds, and it is essential that everyone involved has access to the evidence.
Questions can be sent via Twitter, @senseaboutsci or #plantsci, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in plant science you can follow members of the UK Plant Sciences Federation (a Special Interest Group of the Society of Biology) on Twitter: @mimitanimoto @UKPSF @PlantScience @weedinggems and join the LinkedIn group. You may also like to become involved with Fascination of Plants Day.