Presidents Message 1-7-2019

Dear EWRS members,

As we rapidly approach the end of another summer, I trust you have all had the chance to take a relaxing and well-deserved break with family, friends and/or loved ones, and that the preceding field season was a success. Following the previous summer where we had the EWRS symposium in Ljubljana and where I personally spent eight weeks on a mini-sabbatical at Colorado State University, this summer has been spent closer to home. A relaxing and much-needed family holiday in Denmark and Sweden and the late summer working on putting together a research concept and strategy for future crop protection research at Rothamsted. Fingers crossed!

Back in June, we held EWRS Scientific Committee and Board meetings in Amsterdam – thanks to Lammert Bastiaans, the EWRS Secretary for organising and hosting, and thanks as always to the many colleagues from all parts of Europe who give up their weekends to attend these meetings and ensure the continued life and vibrancy of the Society. This time we also welcomed some ‘guests’ to these meeting – Camilla Moonen in her role as EWRS Communication Officer, Alison Haughton as the new Editor-in-Chief for Weed Research and Peter Witjes, the CEO of Creative Performers United (CPU), the company that are designing the new EWRS web site. It is exciting to see progress on the new external web site and membership site – Peter and his team have some excellent ideas and the draft designs they presented were fresh and vibrant. Thanks to Camilla for working hard with CPU over the last few months. We hope the new site will be ‘live’ by the end of the year, possibly before.

At the meetings, Alison Haughton also presented her vision and ideas for our Weed Research journal. The journal continues to earn a lot of money for the Society and the publishers Wiley are doing a great job in increasing income year on year. However, we have been told that there are some challenging times ahead for the journal as academic publishing moves more and more to an Open Access model, meaning that it is likely in future that submissions and numbers of published articles in the journal will have to increase to maintain income. At the meeting, Alison presented a number of ideas to increase submissions as well as to address the scope and ambition of the journal as we move into the 2020’s.

As we move towards the new web site and as Camilla establishes a Communication strategy for the EWRS, we will be moving away from the current pdf version of the newsletter and towards a much more dynamic and modern web-based format where members will be posted a regular bulletin, giving links to interesting and recent news and updates from the web site. Once again, a much-needed move into the 2020s! As such, and as I approach the end of my period of Presidency, this may be my last President’s message posted in this format. I would like to thank all the Board and Scientific Committee members that have helped and supported me during this time. I certainly have a far better understanding of the great deal of voluntary time, effort and commitment that people put into service for the Society. I still have four months left, so there is still much to do. As President, it is hard to find the time do all the things you would like to. For my part, I wanted to introduce a few fresh ideas to the symposium, establish a new web site and Communication Officer role and in recent times work more closely with Wiley publishers and the new EiC to ensure the continued success of Weed Research. By the end of 2020, when I step down, I hope some of those efforts will have to fruition.

Best Wishes,

Paul Neve