AAB - President
Aspects 72: Advances in Applied Biology: providing new opportunities for consumers and producers in the 21st century


M Andrews

R D Bancroft 

N D Boatman 

M N Bush 

M F B Dale 

J Foulkes 

C R Glass 

R Jacobson 

C Kelly 

J D Knight 

W E Parker 

A L Snowdon 

R Taylor 

K R Thomas


Prior to 1904, there were comparatively few active applied biologists in the UK and no scientific society or scientific journal was devoted to applied biology.

Thus, to address this deficiency, the Association of Applied Biologists started life (as the Association of Economic Biologists) on Tuesday 8 November 1904, when the Inaugural Meeting was held at the Linnean Society in London. In his introductory remarks, the Association’s first President (Professor Fred V Theobald, an entomologist at the Natural History Museum in London) hoped that the new Association would "welcome all investigators in economic biology, whether agricultural, medical or commercial." He added that the interdependence of biology, agriculture, medicine and commerce was apparent to all and needed no words of recommendation.  

The objects of the Association when it was founded (and which, although revised since, have maintained the same seminal thinking) were:


  • to discuss new discoveries, to exchange experiences, and to carefully consider the best methods of working  

  • to give opportunity to individual workers of announcing proposed investigations, so as to bring out suggestions and prevent unnecessary duplication of work

  • to suggest, when possible, certain lines of investigation upon subjects of general interest  

  • and generally to promote the study, and advance the science, of economic biology in its agricultural, medical and economic aspects.


    The Association (which became the Association of Applied Biologists in 1934) is one of the 6 oldest biological science, learned societies in the UK. Opening the Association’s Jubilee Meeting in London in 1954, its then President (the eminent plant pathologist Professor W Brown FRS) proclaimed the Association to be "unquestionably the most authoritative body in this country in applied biological research, more particularly in the fields of agriculture and horticulture."  

    Undoubtedly that position was due very significantly to the Association’s being able to combine a wide variety of specialisms with an effective integration of that range of specialisms. Today, the broad, multidisciplinary, evolving church of the Association remains one of its strongest (and quite possibly unique) features; certainly, its range of Specialist Groups today (including Applied Mycology and Bacteriology, Biological Control, Entomology, Nematology, Pesticide Application, Plant Physiology and Crop Improvement, Post-Harvest Biology, Virology, and Weeds and Agronomy; for further information, see the Association’s website at www.aab.org.uk) very well enable the Association to pursue its aims to discuss and communicate advances in applied biology and to raise the profile of applied biology. 

    This international Centenary Conference of the Association of Applied Biologists at St Catherine’s College in the University of Oxford, with more than 50 separate, forward-looking sessions organised by all the Association’s Specialist Groups (as well as the commercial exhibition) under the unifying title of ‘Advances in applied biology: providing new opportunities for consumers and producers in the 21st century’ exemplifies very well the wide-ranging excellence the Association has to offer. The Conference will be of interest, I am sure, to: those who influence opinion-formers and political decision-makers in the land use, amenity and public health sectors; research managers and scientists; commercial land users and amateur growers and gardeners; food and industrial crops industry managers; educationists and school pupils; representatives of consumers and media commentators. I welcome you all.  

    With your help and active participation, the Conference and the Centenary Dinner (at St Catherine’s College on Thursday 16 December) will provide a grand end to the Association’s Centenary year of celebration. I encourage you to roam widely between sessions at the Conference, dipping your toes into new pools and meeting new colleagues – especially during the many social breaks that the programme includes. It is the integration of specialists that this Conference offers in plenty that will surely underpin a vibrant future for the Association, through what must be its flexibility to adjust and address (through an evolving portfolio of appropriate activities) developing topics, disciplines and, of increasing importance, worldwide agendas. 

    Remember it in future! You were at the AAB’s Centenary Conference! Do enjoy it!


    2004 256 pp. 

    Price £12.00 (AAB Members £6.00)

    Plus P&P to be applied on completion of purchase

    For the contents list, click here.

  • Code Name Price
    1401 Aspects 72: Advances in Applied Biology: providing new opportunities for consumers and producers in the 21st century £12.00
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