The Science of Communicating Science: The Ultimate Guide, by Dr Craig Cormick

By Rachel Winks, CABI

The Science of Communicating Science: The Ultimate Guide by Dr Craig Cormick, published this month jointly by CABI and CSIRO, is a book that helps to solve a major problem that many scientists face at some point in their career: how do I communicate my work to society?

How do I give that interview with a news outlet that would help explain my research to the general public, or how do I deliver that presentation to a donor that could secure the next round of funding for my project?

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While there are millions of chatty blogs, books and videos about how to talk to the press or give a speech, where do scientists go to get digestible but evidence-based answers about the approaches that work best; the tools that really move the dial?

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CAB Reviews hits 1000 articles with fall armyworm paper

The CABI journal CAB Reviews has just published its 1000th paper, with a study examining how smallholder farmers can manage the devastating crop pest fall armyworm (FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda). The rapid spread of the FAW to sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is a major threat to smallholder maize farmers, with an average infestation level of 30% of plants across Africa (see CABI’s Fall Armyworm Portal).

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In his article, Allan Hruska of the Food and Agriculture Organization has examined published studies to see which management options are most likely to work for smallholders. Continue reading

CABI leads regional workshop on Pest Risk Analysis tool in Bangladesh

The Invasives Blog

Workshop participants and CABI facilitators pose for a group photo in two rows.Workshop participants and CABI facilitators (L-R from front row, 2nd from left) Claire Curry, Ganeshamoorthy Rajendra and Dr Manju Thakur. (Photo: Ganeshamoorthy Rajendra)

Plant quarantine experts on Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) from four countries in South Asia joined together in Bangladesh last week (4th -5th September) for a workshop led by CABI on the new Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) decision support tool and workflow. The PRA tool workshop, which was made possible through CABI’s Action on Invasives programme, took place over two days in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and welcomed participants from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, as well as delegates from FAO and SAARC, Bangladesh.

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Remembering Anthony Johnston – former Director Commonwealth Mycological Institute

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Anthony Johnston (left) was Director Commonwealth Mycological Institute between 1968 to 1983. He was instrumental in the changeover from manual to computerised production of abstract journals and setting up a computer database with an online retrieval service.

By Dr David Smith, Director Biological Resources at CABI

It was sad to hear of the passing of Anthony Johnston, a plant pathologist and former Director of the Commonwealth Mycological Institute (CMI) 1968-1983. He is fondly remembered by his colleagues, some of whom are still working at CAB International (originally CAB – Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux) which was the parent organisation of the Institute.

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Improving disease resistance in Kenyan crops

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Necrotic spotting symptoms of a cabbage head associated with TuMV infection. Photo credit: J. Walsh

By Dr Charlotte Nellis, (NIAB EMR, UK) 

It is estimated that globally two billion people suffer from deficiencies in essential vitamins and nutrients, termed ‘hidden hunger’.  Sub-Saharan Africa has a number of countries that have high levels of hidden hunger, including Kenya, which is ranked 2nd and 17th worst in Africa and the world, respectively.

Vegetables provide one of the most affordable and accessible sources of micronutrients.  However, plant pathogens pose a serious threat to crop production and cause substantial losses annually. An environmentally-benign way of reducing losses and increasing yields is to improve plant resistance to pathogens. Long-term, durable resistance is critical to sustainable, resilient food systems.

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The history of cultivating citrus

By L Gene Albrigo

Citrus is one of the most important exported fruit crops. Large plantings in countries bordering latitudes 20 south and north and in-between provide fresh and processed citrus for the more populated northern European and American countries as well as other large populations around the world. Citrus has also been a cultivated crop in southeast Asia for thousands of years. Its genetics are unique in that stable hybrids naturally propagated through polyembryony have been recognized as species. New molecular techniques have clearly elucidated the true genetic background of citrus.

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New podcast from SciDev.Net focuses on cholera in Cameroon and measles in Democratic Republic of Congo

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The second edition of health, science and development podcasts from SciDev.Net focuses on cholera epidemics in Cameroon and measles outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As part of a series of podcasts funded by the Wellcome Trust and hosted by SciDev.Net Sylvie Akoussan looks at the cholera epidemic in northern Cameroon before shifting her attention to measles in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her report, in French, asks important questions about the quality of tap water in Africa and whether this has an impact on the health of its citizens.

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