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Science Week 2008

CIMMYT research staff, colleagues from IRRI, GCP, and other special guests, as well as a few members of the Board of Trustees and DG designate, Thomas A. Lumpkin, gathered in El Batán from Monday 03 to Friday 07 March 2008 for the latest edition of CIMMYT Science Week.

Science Week is a forum for exchanges among staff on progress, key issues, and new opportunities related to the Center’s role in science and development for maize and wheat systems. Staff also assess progress in ongoing projects, the delivery of flagship products and adjust the Medium-Term Plan.

Masa welcomed everyone on the first day and spoke of the challenges facing agriculture, including rising food prices, climate change and variability, food (and feed) demands and supply chains, the degradation of soils, and the lack of water. He also stressed that CIMMYT’s core business is science, and that its impacts are based on solid science performed by dedicated and committed staff at all levels. Addressing CIMMYT staff and special guests, Thomas A. Lumpkin spoke of his longtime admiration of the Center’s work, his excitement about leading CIMMYT, and the importance of team work and future partnerships.

Presentations covered the material being prepared for the publications “Maize and Wheat Facts and Futures,” as well as all Projects and flagship products. Questions after the presentations and a panel discussion gave participants a chance to share their views on the Center’s role in work with NARS, NGOs, and the private sector, as well as on many other issues.

Tom Payne touched on his trip to Svalbard, Norway, during his presentation and caused amusment when he said he’d felt warmer inside the -20ºC seed vault than outside it! In between all the presentations and discussions, participants assembled for dinner on Monday and Friday evening and tasted some typical Mexican food before heading home.

Many thanks to all those who organized and participated in Science Week and made it a success.