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Every nation is only a few meals away from anarchy. Open especially for Pint of Science, the not-for-profit café and bike workshop Roll for the Soul hosts a night on farming and food production of the future. How can the immense demand of a growing population be met? Please note that this event takes place on the ground floor and is accessible for those with impaired mobility. The bar is up some stairs, but staff can offer table service for those with impaired mobility.
The past, present and future of plant breeding
The human race has been selecting and modifying crops and animals for millennia; as Darwin suggested, these modifications have often been for the benefit of humans rather than the species themselves. We have now begun to appreciate the effects that strong selection pressures have on the fitness of a species with the result that breeders have started to take steps to right some of our past wrongs. In my talk I will cover how in the past we went wrong and what breeders are now doing to right these wrongs, including, controversially, the use of the next generation of genetic manipulation.
What about wasps?
The importance of bees is well known. Their pollination services contribute €100 billion a year to the global economy, and we love them for their ecosystem services and sweet honey-making skills. But what about wasps? In the UK, wasps are the bane of summer; adversary of picnics, enemy of the beer garden and general baddie of the insect world. Yet the 100,000+ global species of wasps are critical to our ecosystems and agriculture, and make a significant contribution to our economy. In this talk I’ll discuss the value of wasps, not least how they can help save the bees!