2022 and beyond…

Mar 10, 2022 | Blog, Featured Blog

2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS); our first meeting taking place on 15 April, and first Council meeting on 4 June 1947. Over the last few weeks you may have seen our new logo, designed especially for this celebratory year, appearing on our website and communications.


During our 75-year history, we have led the way in distributing soil research to members, stakeholders and researchers, particularly via our two journals the European Journal of Soil Science (formerly Journal of Soil Science, first published in 1950) and Soil Use and Management (first published in 1985) and our conferences and events.


This year is no exception!


The World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) will take place from 31 July – 5 August at the SEC, Glasgow and will be the highlight of our 75 years.


With over 1,900 abstracts received and the international challenges associated with Covid, looking less challenging than we had originally foreseen, the congress looks set to be the international soils event of the last few years.


As a result of the Congress, this year’s strategy is our most ambitious to date, with all activities we are planning linked in some way to this international event. In-person networking will allow us to meet members for the first time in almost three years and we will host a specific event for international Early Career researchers and practitioners (Monday 1 August), and a members’ only birthday party and Annual General Meeting (Tuesday 2 August) to celebrate our successes over the last 75 years. Please hold the dates in your diaries and further information on how to register to attend will be provided closer to the time.


The Congress offers a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of soils beyond our usual scientific audience and encourage the wider world to protect soils for the future.


To support this aim, we will be launching a series of short videos ahead of the Congress highlighting the importance of soils in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals; our Education Committee will develop a story book aimed at young people aged 7 – 11 complete with soil-related activities which will be communicated at outreach events at the Glasgow Science Centre; and we will be working with awarding organisation City & Guilds to provide advice on the content for the new T Level in Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care.


For those already interested in soils, we will continue to deliver our Zoom into Soil lunchtime webinars, two of which will focus on Scottish soils; produce the second in our series of Science Notes, this time focusing on the biodiverse nature of soils and soils’ ability to support the wider environment, and launch the Society’s Interdisciplinary Grant which will encourage Early Career practitioners to work with others from outside their immediate discipline to undertake research linked to the Congress themes.


Our Board has recently approved a 10-year vision highlighting where the organisation should be in 10 years’ time and at its meeting in a few days, Council will agree how we can use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track our progress against our strategy and long-term vision. This is an important part of the Society’s development: our focus is moving to understanding the value our activities have resulted in, rather than whether an activity has taken place.


With increased public understanding of soils’ importance, particularly against the backdrop of climate change, 2022 provides a huge opportunity to achieve a long-lasting legacy from the Congress and provide a basis for our next 75 years’ work.


Sarah Garry

Executive Officer

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