When is a plant ‘nature’ and when is it ‘science’? Why is plant science a priority? How do national norms influence a multinational discipline like science? These were just some of the issues discussed with a group of Anglia Ruskin University social science students visiting the Sainsbury Laboratory.
After a tour of the Plant Growth Facility and the Lab, the students met with Associate Director Ottoline Leyser for a conversation on these and other topics. Themes that emerged included the critical importance of easy and frequent communication between researchers- tea breaks and Skype connections are as important as state of the art microscopy suites!
Anglia Ruskin lecturer David Skinner said, ‘it was a great experience for our students-it made them rethink what science is.’ Rob Brett, Horticultural Facilities Manager, said, ‘this was an excellent opportunity to discuss the importance of plant science and to explain what the Lab does to a group of people not normally involved in pure science research'.