International Society for Plant Pathology
Report to ISPP from an Associated Society for 2003 -2008
Name of Society: British Society for Plant Pathology
Established: 1981
Web address for Society:
Name of person preparing report: Bill Rennie: Secretary, BSPP
Nominated officers: Is the list on the ISPP website correct? Yes
Society contact: Bill Rennie, Secretary, BSPP. Email address:
Report for 2003 – 08
Membership in 2004 was 624 members, in 2005 644 members, in 2006 598 members and in 2007 618 members. Membership is drawn from more than 50 countries.
Society activities and publications: Detailed up-to-date information on the British Society for Plant Pathology is available on its website at including information on forthcoming meetings, conferences and workshops, information on Society membership, a BSPP blog, information on the Society’s Travel Fund, Bursary Fund and Fellowship Schemes, services for members, a report on a recently completed Skills Audit for plant pathology and details of the Society’s publications.
The British Society for Plant Pathology publishes two highly respected journals: Plant Pathology (which includes a section on New Disease Reports) and Molecular Plant Pathology. Prizes are awarded each year for the best ‘’student’’ papers published in Plant Pathology and Molecular Plant Pathology. A Society Newsletter, containing information on members and their activities, is issued free to members each quarter.
The Society holds an annual Presidential meeting at which papers on a topical plant pathology theme are presented. The meeting includes competitions for the P H Gregory prize for the best presentation by a post graduate speaker and the John Colhoun prize for the best poster. This year’s Presidential meeting will be held at Queen Mary College, the University of London, on 16 and 17 December, with Cereal Pathogenesis as the theme. Full details are available on the Society’s website. A Potato Workshop, to mark the United Nations International Year of the Potato, and a Breakcrops Workshop were also held in June and July. The Society also supports a number of conferences and meetings relevant to the interests of its members, including occasional meetings of regional plant pathology groups. The Society aims to attract high numbers of student and post graduate members to its meetings and special registration arrangements are usually in place for younger members.
BSPP members frequently contribute to meetings, workshops and exhibitions organised by others, including events aimed at the general public, and in this way promote plant pathology and the Society’s activities.
The British Society for Plant Pathology is a Company Limited by Guarantee and a registered UK Charity and annual returns of its business activities are made each year to both Companies House and the UK Charity Commissioners. A high proportion of the Society’s annual income is used in support of its services to members.
The British Society for Plant Pathology is managed by a Board which meets quarterly to plan for the Presidential Meeting, to oversee awards for Travel grants, Bursaries and Fellowships, to agree the policy for the Society’s publications, to agree the annual budget and, generally, to manage the Society’s affairs. The Board also discusses and develops new ideas and initiatives to promote plant pathology and support plant pathologists.
The Board of the BSPP comprises a President, who chairs its meetings, a President Elect, a Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Programme Secretary, Membership Secretary, and six members elected by the membership. The Senior Editors of the Society’s publications, Plant Pathology, Molecular Plant Pathology, New Disease Reports and the Newsletter, together with the Society’s Web Manager and its recently appointed Press and Publicity Officer usually attend Board meetings to report on progress. The Society is especially keen to involve younger and female members in the Board’s activities.
The BSPP is affiliated to both the Institute of Biology and the Biosciences Federation in the UK and its membership of these organisations provides opportunities to influence wider public and government thinking and policy in science including areas relevant to plant pathology.