On 19 May, the Sainsbury Laboratory, along with 14 other plant research institutions, welcomed the public to ‘Plant Power’, an outreach day hosted in the grounds of the Botanic Garden. Hundreds of members of the public welcomed the chance to learn about plant development and breeding, the latest research on biofuels and many other aspects of current plant based research.
The Sainsbury Laboratory was pleased to participate in this initiative, providing project management support as well as participating in the event itself. Directors, group leaders, post docs and support staff all took part. 'Talking to members of the public is great. They ask questions about your research that really make you think about your work in new ways' said Maaike de Jong. Ian Harvey, from the Society of Biology said, 'we engaged our audience and had plenty of hands-on, participative activities, which is essential for the wide range of ages and knowledge that come to these events.'
‘Plant Power’ was part of the European Plant Sciences Organisation's 'Fascination of Plants' initiative. University departments, regional plant breeding institutes and scientific societies collaborated on this project. This was the first time such a wide range of organisations took part in a plant themed outreach event hosted by the University, and plans for future collaborations on similar projects are already under discussion.