Molecular Plant Sciences

Blog - Fascination of Plants Day 2022 – a blooming success!

Are you curious about plants? Did you know that there is a day dedicated to finding out more about plants every year?

(Author: Sandy Hetherington, Editor: Tea Reinart)

Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD) is an international celebration of plants held annually on 18th May. To celebrate and promote plant sciences here in Edinburgh, IMPS co-ordinated the first ever Edinburgh-wide FoPD.

Edinburgh FoPD was a collaboration between the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (RBGE) and the Botanical Society of Scotland. Events ran in May 2022 and ranged from an in-person tour around the rhododendron collection at RBGE by Dr Richard Milne (IMPS), to virtual lectures, and even the screening of a new film.

On the 18th May “Fascinating plants in person” was held in the in The John Hope Gateway building at RBGE by members of IMPS. The event showcased some of the plant science research at IMPS and highlighted our fascinating plants. Over the day scientists from IMPS talked to lots of people visiting the gardens about the power of plant science research. It was a great day and was the first in-person opportunity for many of our scientists to talk to people about their work.

PhD student Nadra Tabassum from the Loake Lab said: "Meeting people outside of academia who were enthusiastic about the science being done at universities was a wonderful experience. Scientists and everyone who appreciates knowledge may start a discourse with this sort of public engagement initiative. The event was fantastic for me. "

Tea Reinert, another PhD student volunteer in the Hetherington lab, said: “I had an incredible time at the FoPD! Talking to the public about plants is always so fun, and it was great to see some research from IMPS be on display. I had some really great conversations with guests at the Botanics about what we’re doing, and it’s great when people are interested in what we’re doing. FoPD was a great way to spread awareness about how cools plants can be!”

Live events connected with over 200 people, and Dr Richard Milne’s talk “The Secret World of Rhododendrons” has been viewed on YouTube over 300 times. You can find out surprising facts about Rhododendrons, which grow all over the UK and are a garden staple, by watching Richard’s amazing talk here,

Altogether we think that FoPD was a blooming success and look forward to celebrating it again next year!  See you on the 18th May 2023!

A montage of photos from Fascinating Plants In Person
From top left: Dr Sandy Hetherington and Tea Reinert pose with plant fossils, Volunteers stand at the exhibit ready to welcome guests, Flowers at RGBE From bottom left: thin slices through plant fossils, volunteers at the start of the day, plants grown under different light conditions and a plant cell culture in a flask.