ISHS Holds Board Meeting First Time in Japan at Kyoto U

The International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) held the board meeting on 4–6 December at Kyoto University, for the first time to have one in Japan, and took the opportunity to make a courtesy visit to the university’s Graduate School of Agriculture (GSA) leadership on 5 December.

ISHS, based in Leuven, Belgium and comprised of over 7,500 members as well as some 50 country and regional members, is among the largest societies in the field of horticultural science. The society named GSA associate professor Ryutaro Tao as one of its eight board members at the general assembly of the International Horticultural Congress (IHC) held in Brisbane, Australia in August 2014, making him the first Asian to fill an ISHS executive position.

Yonemori-sensei invited me as a guest professor in 2010, and I had a wonderful time teaching students here at GSA,” said ISHS President Roderick Drew at the outset of the meeting with GSA Dean Hisashi Miyagawa and Vice Dean Eiji Nawata. “And again I am here today, having been given the chance to hold the board meeting and speak with Miyagawa-sensei and Nawata-sensei. For all these, I am truly grateful.”

“It also means a lot that Ryutaro has been selected as the treasurer. He will most certainly play a big part in networking with horticultural societies in Japan and Asia. In fact he and I have made an appointment to visit the Chinese Society for Horticultural Science next week,” continued Dr Drew, adding that he would like to explore the possibilities for collaborations with GSA, such as PhD student exchange.

The next IHC will take place in Istanbul, a unique city in that it literally bridges Europe and Asia,” said IHC 2018 Co-President Yüksel Tüzel. “The congress will also bridge the gap between scientists in absolutely all fields of horticulture, from countries of the North and South, East and West. All faculty and students at GSA are therefore more than welcome to attend.”

ISHS Vice President Silvana Nicola explained the society’s structure, which consists of commodity-based sections but does employ cross-border approaches as well, and efforts being made for the horticultural community, such as organizing symposia 40–50 times a year.

ISHS board members Yves Desjardins (for publications) and Jens N Wuensche (for innovation, outreach and strategy) outlined the society’s publication strategy, part of which are: Acta Horticulturae, a series of ISHS symposia and IHC proceedings; soon-to-be-launched European Journal of Horticulture Science (eJHS), a fully peer-reviewed, open-access journal; and the society’s views and ideas on bibliometrics, such as impact factor, citation counts and h-index.

ISHS Secretary Jill Stanley, a site leader at a New Zealand-based R&D company, then provided a perspective on how institutions of that nature can engage with the academic community, particularly graduate students and junior scientists, and an overview of their funding sources, such as commercial contracts, government grants and royalties.

ISHS Secretariat Executive Director Ir. Jozef Van Assche presented PubHort, an ISHS database serving as “crossroads of horticultural publications” by not only itself but also other societies and organizations in all branches of horticulture.

In closing, he said “Kyoto University is well known across the world, and certainly among the most prestigious in Japan. So many students and professors are dying to come. I would again like to express our sincere appreciation for the honor to hold the first board meeting (of the term 2014–2018) at such a place, and discuss future plans with Miyagawa-sensei and Nawata-sensei here today.”

Yüksel Tüzel, Roderick Drew, Hisashi Miyagawa, Silvana Nicola, Jill Stanley, Eiji Nawata, Ir. Jozef Van Assche, Jens-Norbert Wünsche, Ryutaro Tao, Yves Desjardins, Peter Vanderborght
From left in the foreground: ISHS IHC 2018 Co-President Yüksel Tüzel, ISHS President Roderick Drew, GSA Dean Hisashi Miyagawa, ISHS Vice President Silvana Nicola, ISHS Secertary Jill Stanley, GSA Vice Dean Eiji Nawata; from left in the background: ISHS Secretariat Executive Director Ir. Jozef Van Assche, ISHS board member (for innovation, outreach and strategy) Jens-Norbert Wünsche, ISHS Treasurer and GSA associate professor Ryutaro Tao, ISHS board member (for publications) Yves Desjardins and Chronica Horticulturae associate editor Peter Vanderborght of the ISHS Secretariat.

Roderick Drew, Silvana Nicola, Ryutaro Tao
President Drew, Vice President Nicola and Treasurer Tao providing an overview of ISHS.

Hisashi Miygawa, Eiji Nawata, Yutaka Iijima
Dean Miyagawa and Vice Dean Nawata outlining GSA’s international initiatives.

Hisashi Miyagawa, Yüksel Tüzel
Dean Miyagawa receiving a plaque commemorating the ISHS IHC 2018 from Co-President Tüzel.