Talking Plants – from Banana Science to Art and Science to Talking Trees

Demonstrating how plant science is relevant, intriguing and fun at the Botanic Gardens Education Network (BGEN) Annual Conference, hosted at CUBG.
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Education communicators from around the UK congregate at Cambridge University Botanic Garden for the 2018 Botanic Gardens Education Network (BGEN) Annual Conference 7-9 November 2018, to talk about ways of communicating plant science and research to a wide range of audiences.

The BGEN Annual Conference is jointly hosted by Cambridge University Botanic Garden (CUBG) and the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU). At the conference, plant scientists from around the University, the Learning team at the Garden, and plant science communicators and educators from across the UK will ‘Talk Plants’ with the intention of:

• developing knowledge about cutting edge plant science
• increasing confidence in delivering practical plant science to visitors
• discovering where to find new science content and creative ideas to support the work of botanic education communicators

CUBG’s Head of Learning Flis Plent who will be opening the conference says: “It's really exciting to be hosting BGEN's annual conference here at the Garden and we're looking forward to a packed three days of 'talking plants' and plant science communication with educators from across the UK. The BGEN conference is always a great opportunity to share ideas, network and learn new skills, and this year we will be focusing on understanding and communicating the latest plant science to the many different audiences we all work with, as well as trying out new approaches to science communication and public engagement.”

Over 80 representatives from organisations including the RHS, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), the Eden Project, the Forestry Commission, Gatsby, the Royal Parks, Plantlife and the Woodland Trust will be attending the conference and a wide range of workshops will be on offer to delegates including:

* Talking Trees with the Woodland Trust and Observa Tree.

* Food Forever with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: introducing some of the big issues facing the future of the world’s food supply and discussing how botanic garden educators can contribute to conversations about resilience, biodiversity and food security.

* Banana Science – going bananas for food security with the Eden Project: how cutting edge research about food security is being offered to secondary schools by the Eden Project.

* Science, Art and Writing (SAW) with the Saw Trust (John Innes Centre) – inspiring curiosity and exploring topics through practical science, poetry and vistual arts.

As hosts, CUBG and the Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) will also be leading workshop sessions which include: Chalk and Talk – speedy talks on Plant Science; Pressing Science with Cambridge University Herbarium; Drawing Botany: illustration and dissection; Flower Power: pollination and the Rising Path Project.

Follow the conference on twitter and instagram #BGEN2018

See links to the left for Talking Plants conference programme & more on BGEN

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