A history of the Agrisciences group

5 Dec 2014

SCI Agrisciences Group is the new name for the long-established SCI BioResources Group. The new name has been adopted to clarify the remit of the group.  This remains the same, covering all aspects of the science and business of crop production, crop protection and crop utilisation (food and non-food).  The old name has become primarily associated with biofuels and biomaterials, which form only part of the interests of the group.

This seems a good time to reflect on how the Group has evolved to where it is today.

Since its inception as the Crop Protection Panel of the SCI Agriculture Group in 1950, the group has taken on several forms and names.

In the 1950's, The Crop Protection Panel was very active, successfully delivering a series of meetings and visits to research centres across the UK.  This led to the panel becoming the Pesticides Group in 1954. In the first decade, the group delivered 63 evening meetings, some jointly with regional groups.

The first one-day meeting was organised in 1956 on 'The resistance of insects to insecticides' - a subject that has become even more relevant today. The first multi-day meeting was held later that year.

In 1967, a three day symposium  on 'Physicochemical and biophysical factors affecting the activity of pesticides' was so well received, that is resulted in a separate Physiochemical and Biophysical Panel being set up. A couple of years later, the Group founded the journal Pesticide Science, to meet the needs of contributors who wanted to share technical papers with the sector.  This is now called Pest Management Science and covers broader approaches to pest control.  Later, the group also changed its name to Pest Management Group for the same reasons.

From the 1970's the group moved away from organising evening events to one and multi-day events, as it continues to do today.

You can get a more detailed history of the group from 1954 – 1994, by viewing A short history of the Pesticides Group 1954-1994, using the link below.

The name BioResources Group was adopted in 2007 to reflect the de facto wider scope of the former Pest Management Group, aligning it with the industry sector, which now addresses crop production more widely than the narrower field of crop protection. At that time, there was great interest in non-food uses of crops, especially for biofuels.  However, it has been recognised that this name has a specific meaning to most stakeholders and so the new name SCI Agrisciences Group has been adopted.

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