UK research portal rolled out for testing

by Luigi Guarino on January 30, 2013

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is calling on the public to test out a new portal aimed at providing better access to information on research funded by the Research Councils.

That’s from something called BBSRC. Here’s the Gateway to Research in question. I got 15 hits on “genetic resources,” the most recent a project to “optimise galanthamine content of daffodil biomass.” Also 29 hits on “plant breeding.” Just one hit for “agrobiodiversity,” a project with CIP on “Biodiversity, agriculture, and livelihoods: Co-evolution and competition in an Andean-Amazonian watershed” which got about £60,000 in 2010. The abstract sounds interesting enough, but that’s all you get. I can’t figure out how to find the actual, you know, results.

But you test it out for yourselves and send your own feedback.

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Dave Wood January 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Luigi: The CIP project is part of a UK programme called Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation. The web-site is a mess and this project proposal is probably the worst I have ever seen. It has a vast and pretentious range of approaches and claims that would need a hundred years to attain. Its main theme is the interface between crop wild relatives and landraces (in the hope that something good – and identifiable – can come of this). It treats `agrobiodiversity’ as a good, forgetting that the term also includes pests and diseases that can move from CWRs to crops. Also missing are the problems of introgression of toxins and weediness (shattering and the like) from CWRs. Lots to do in 6 months and a lot to expect of poor farmers. We need a term now like `negative ecosystem services’ to prevent this bandwagon effect and waste of funding and farmers’ time and stress.

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