25 Sep 2017 · Actualia (engl.) · DBG · Internat. Botanikertagung

Welcome address: fruitful collaborations

Karl-Josef Dietz encouraged the participants to expand their networks. Photo: esw
Average number of authors per paper in the journal Plant Physiology. The papers appeared in July and August of the years as indicated. The grey area marks the range, the individual numbers the highest numbers of authors. please click to enlarge

He illustrated how important it is for successful scientists to collaborate. He therefore encouraged all participants to enjoy the possibilities offered by the Botanikertagung and the big network of the DBG. He thanked all speakers and poster creators, the conference chair, Professor Karin Krupinska and her team, who invited many Danish Colleagues, and all the people and institutions who contributed to the conference.

Read his whole welcome address (incl. another figure)

Dear participants of the Botanikertagung 2017 in Kiel,

on behalf of the Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft, the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG), I cordially welcome you to the Botanikertagung 2017, our biennial international conference. Our colleagues from Kiel have organized this conference on the topic Plant Research in a Changing World. Plant Science is a dynamic research field in the core of the needs of our society. Two years back in München, I opened the Botanikertagung with the perspective that the Vereinigung für Angewandte Botanik will be reunited with the DBG. Indeed this merging has been completed and since then our society has an additional Section for Applied Botany dedicated to plant biotechnology. With this and together with the research fields covered by the sections for Biodiversity & Evolution, Interactions, Natural Products, Phycology and Physiology & Molecular Biology, the DBG has emphasized its aspiration to function as the leading and comprehensive scientific organization dedicated to plants in German speaking countries.

Our ability and vigor as society depends on you as members. Please visit our booth to inform yourself about our activities. Become a member to strengthen the plant sciences, to support young scientists, to facilitate outreach in the society and to decision makers, and also to expand your own network. Plant research increasingly is a collaborative effort, regularly involving international cooperation. Therefore I am very happy that our president of the meeting, Prof. Karin Krupinska, has organized this Botanikertagung in close interaction with her colleagues from Denmark, particularly from Copenhagen. We are going to listen to many contributions from eminent Danish researchers. The DBG followed this idea of a joint meeting with a neighboring country before. But this time it will be the first meeting realizing the concept of including a non-German speaking country in a somewhat preferred and focused manner. Thanks to Karin Krupinska for your effort to successfully implement this idea. I expect this to be a fruitful development of our Botanikertagung.

The need for strong interactions and elaborated networks in plant science becomes evident when considering author lists of past and present publications. I analyzed the lists of authors of publications in the journal Plant Physiology that appeared in July and August of 1977, 1987, … until 2017. As you can see from the graphic: the average number of authors on a Plant Physiology paper in 1977 was 2.4. This number increased from decade to decade and has reached 6.8 in 2017. In addition the number of papers with long lists of authors has increased from decade to decade. Apparently, the ambition of the authors and the journal to cover a broad range of approaches and different methodology in each single paper has led to an increase in the number of contributors. This is telling us that successful networking, proper identification of suitable partners and efficient execution of the project is important, often more than ever, to push plant science. For this reason, I am convinced that meetings like the Botanikertagung with ample opportunities to build and expand the personal network play a central role in shaping the future of science.

My deep thanks go to you, Karin Krupinska as president of this meeting, your colleagues and the local organizing committee, the University of Kiel and all other supporters. You have enabled this meeting with a first class program in the field of plant science reaching from ecology, plant physiology, cell biology to molecular biology and genetics. Dear participants, as early-career scientist or leading expert from a wide range of disciplines in plant biology, you have followed the invitation of our colleagues. You are going to present talks or posters, discuss your recent results, search for new insight or cooperation, and build your network. I am convinced that the scientific and accompanying program provide the rich setting for an inspiring time. I wish you a splendid experience, a scientifically successful meeting and an enjoyable stay in Kiel.