The quick answer is that we need the very best people to become plant scientists in order to address the most serious and challenging problems facing mankind and the global ecosystem.
Plants provide us with food, biofuels, fibre for clothing, and medicines. They provide us with shelter, buffer us from extreme weather, regulate the oxygen balance in the atmosphere and sustain our global diversity. In fact plants sustain all life on Earth. The challenges thrown up by global warming and a rapidly developing population, set to hit between 10 to 12 billion by 2050, will be solved largely by plants and that means plant scientists.
Currently we are desperately short of plant scientists and for that reason they are among the top science earners coming after doctors and dentists in terms of average starting salary.
The opportunities are enormous allowing you to specialize in biochemistry, physiology, genetics, systematics, conservation and many more areas, in fact plant scientists are to be found working at the forefront of all science areas. So whether you enjoy lab work or being outdoors, developing new products, growing food or biofuels, whether its research or business, plant sciences can offer you enormous opportunities. New industrial initiatives using plants include anti-cancer drugs, biodegradable plastics, biodiesel from algae, healthier sugars, that’s not to mention advances in cereal and crop production, as well as forestry, all developed by plant scientists. Plants offer us sustainable alternatives to feeding the global population and dealing with climate change. Are you up for the challenge?
If interested why not have a look at this list of 100 important questions that urgently need to be addressed by the next generation of plant scientists. This list was drawn up by scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the John Innes Centre, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Horticultural Society, universities, agriculture and industry. Perhaps with more plant scientists we really can make a difference and really tackle hunger, poverty and climate change. Have a look at some of our past students or make an appointment to talk to one of us.