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20May2014: Global Food Security – Food, Famine and Fungi

Cafe Scientifique

The next meeting will be held as usual at Jericho’s, Launceston, on Tuesday 20th May from 7.00pm.

For those of you who may not have been to a meeting recently, the relaying equipment has now been greatly improved with a large TV screen and very good sound on the lower floor. We appreciate that some may have been put off in the past by having to sit downstairs with poor acoustics etc, but Jericho’s have done a great deal of work with fantastic results that give everyone a good view and full sound wherever you sit.

I must remind you that all refreshments MUST be paid for (£3).

Entrance is free but we hope that you will round up your payment to £5 so that we are able to pay for room hire, speakers’ expenses and any other costs.

The speaker this time is Professor Sarah Gurr, BSc, ARCS, DIC, PhD, MA, Professor of Food Security, Exeter University and she will be talking about “Global Food Security – Food, Famine and Fungi”

Sarah Gurr was recently appointed to the Chair of Food Security, a post created by Exeter University in association with BBSRC and Rothamstead Research. The new position nests within the Food Security and Research Land Alliance between the Universities of Exeter, Bristol, Bath and Cardiff with Rothamstead. Sarah was previously Professor of Molecular Plant Pathology at Oxford and formerly President of the British Society of Plant Pathology.

Her interests are in crop diseases (notably of rice and wheat) with particular emphasis on fungal infestations and their global movement and control. She has co-authored over 100 publications, including a contribution to the recent Foresight report on “Biological Hazards”.

In a recent interview, Professor Gurr was asked about the public awareness of food security. She said ‘It is pivotal – few people have thought about the provenance and/or sustainability of the food in their supermarket trolleys. Closer to home we must raise awareness of food quality and mitigate losses both post-harvest and in our “throw-away” culture. We must also raise awareness of the 1.4 billion people living on less than £1 a day and of rising malnutrition in a growing population.’