Kew’s Science Strategy

Kew’s much anticipated Science Strategy is published today. While it is critical to the future of Kew and the work done there, it is also indicative of the current climate for botanic gardens and plant science. The report is very focused on the use and dissemination of existing data, for example building on the work being done in the Sampled Red List Index for Plants. (A lot of red-listing work is done using geographical information from herbarium specimens rather than the costly approach of going and counting plants in the field; this is then extrapolated outwards into indicators for genera and families.)

There is also a heavier emphasis on the inclusion of fungi than before, the frequent mention of crop-wild-relatives and ecosystem services. But the main theme on first read is of the importance of BIg Data for the future.