Freiburg welcomes historic plant meeting
At the initiative of scientists in Freiburg the two largest European organisations for Plant Science have agreed in a recently signed "Memorandum of Understanding" to hold their first joint congress. In the summer of 2012 more than 1,000 participants from all over the world are expected to meet in Freiburg, Germany.
Plant Scientists in Europe are represented by two independent organisations. The Federation of European Societies of Plant Biologists (FESPB) is the umbrella organisation of the national botanical societies. The European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) unites individual research institutions and companies. To date both organisations held strictly separate conferences as can be seen this year with the EPSO holding its congress in icy Finland within the polar circle, whereas the FESPB has its conference in hot sunny Valencia.
At the initiative of the Freiburg scientists Prof. Dr. Heinz Rennenberg (Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences) and Prof. Dr. Ralf Reski (Faculty of Biology) both organisations have agreed to hold a joint congress for the first time. A respective "Memorandum of Understanding" has just been signed by the executive committees of the FESPB and EPSO. This Plant Biology Congress will be held at the University of Freiburg, Germany, in the summer of 2012 and will highlight all aspects of plant biology. Especially the importance of plants for our climate and for feeding the growing world population will be discussed scientifically. More than 1,000 participants from all over the world are expected in Freiburg, the "Green City".
Heinz Rennenberg, President of the FESPB from July 2010, says: "We see this congress as a first step towards a merging of FESPB and EPSO so that in the future the European plant sciences can be represented by a single voice in the sciences and in politics." Ralf Reski, a member of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), adds: "The fact that both organisations chose Freiburg for a congress of this magnitude shows the high international reputation that Plant Sciences in Freiburg enjoy as a whole."
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rennenberg
University of Freiburg
Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences