Fascination of Plants Day: become a plant scientist for a day

From one little seed, planted into soil, many green lives can arise – from small herbs up to big trees, or from ornamental flowers to substantial crops which all animals and mankind need to survive on this planet.

Plant biologists estimate the total number of plant species roughly to be about 250,000.

On Tuesday 18 May, join plant enthusiasts all around the world and take part in the first-ever virtual Fascination of Plants Day.

The goal of the event is to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture and sustainable production of nutritious food, as well as for pretty much all aspects of our lives.

Dr Tim George, a plant scientist at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland and UK coordinator of the event, says everyone is invited to celebrate the importance of plants.

“Many plant science institutions, universities, schools, botanical gardens and museums, together with farmers and industry, have opened their doors for Fascination of Plants Day since the inaugural event in 2012. This year there is truly something for everyone.”

Felicity Perry, Head of Communications and Engagement at the John Innes Centre comments, “It is fantastic for us to be able to play a small part in the Fascination of Plants Day this year. Plants and microbes are such an important part of our world, and they could play a leading role in securing a more sustainable future. From their role in the agriculture of the future to discovering new medicines, plants really are important and fascinating.”

Dr George said the UK event will feature exhibits from a whole host of organisations including the John Innes Centre, Rothamsted, James Hutton Institute, Natural History Museum. Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Birmingham Institute for Forest research and many universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Robert Gordon.

“On the back of this coordinated activity, we hope to plant again many virtual and constantly germinating seeds in the collective mind of the public that plant science is of critical significance to the social and environmental landscape now and in future. Be sure to keep an eye on plantday18may.org for more updates and details”.

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