Our Fascination with Plants – Science on Show this Saturday

If you want to know more about how plants are going to help humankind in the future, you can find out this weekend when Norwich Research Park holds its Plants of the Future open day.

This Saturday (21 May) scientists, students and support staff from across the Norwich Research Park come together share their love of plants. The free event is open to all and includes exhibitions, interactive activities and outdoor trails suitable for the whole family.

The event celebrates the sixth international Fascination of Plants Day (18th May 2022), a worldwide initiative run under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO).

Register for your ticket here

Fascination of Plants Day, which happens to be today aims to get a many people as possible around the world to be fascinated by plants, and enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture and sustainable production of nutritious food.

Earlier this year our Director, Professor Dale Sanders, talked about his fascination with plants in his blog, Green Planet: Engaging the next generation of plant scientists. He also talks about how the BBC series, Green Planet has put plants front and centre.

In the blog Professor Sanders said, “Without plants there would be no complex life on earth. Plants harvest the energy from the sun and convert that energy into all the living things that we see. They underpin the food chain and everything we eat depends on plants. Ultimately, they are responsible for all of life on earth.”

While plant and microbial science are going to be critical in helping us answer some of the greatest challenges that humanity faces, it is also true that they are fascinating organisms in their own right.

The Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Earlham Institute and Quadram Institute look forward to showing you how we aim to solve global challenges through the power of plants, science and technology and unlock some of the wonders of plants at the Plants of the Future open day.

You’ll be able to meet our scientists, get hands on with interactive exhibits, take a walk to see some a huge range of interesting trees, and hunt out the pests and pathogens that make plants their homes.

One of the exhibits on show is “Scientists Vs Climate Change: The Battle to Save Our Food”. This shows the potential impact of climate change on food production, and how our research is helping to mitigate this by developing new crops with improved drought and flood resistance.

In the future it is likely that families in the UK will eat different foods, and the interactive stall will have a “Guess the Grain” Game and Climate Ker-Plunk: an interactive game to demonstrate agricultural threats and solutions to climate change.

We will also be building Lego plants and investigating Pea Genetics, to show how plants, genetics and the environment impact on our health. You’ll also be able to find out about our future plans for the Norwich Research Park with the Healthy Plants, Healthy People healthy Planet exhibit.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what happens on the Norwich Research Park or if would like to find out more about the wonderful world of plants, then this FREE event is for you.

We encourage you to reserve a space. Book your free ticket at Norwich-plants.eventbrite.co.uk


  • Date: Saturday 21 May 2022
  • Time: 10:00 to 16:00
  • Place: John Innes Conference Centre, Norwich Research Park, NR4 7UH (How to find us)
  • Cost: Free – free Parking is available
  • Refreshments will be for sale on site (card-only payments).

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