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Weed Research journal perspectives from the IWSC, Hangzhou, China

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Nearly 600 weed scientist from 50 countries met in Hangzhou, China over the week of 16 to 23 June 2012 for the 6th International Weed Science Congress.  This meeting, led by the International Weed Science Society, was staged by the Chinese Weed Science Society. Our hosts organised a great venue and gave us a good conference, interesting excursions and fine opening and closing ceremonies.  As the Editor-in-Chief of Weed Research, it was an opportunity to see and be seen and present a face behind those decision letters, both rejection and acceptance, from Weed Research. The journal was well-represented, with nine Subject Editors present.  We were also able to meet and discuss some of the work of the Editorial Board, including paper handling times, something all authors are sensitive about. 
As the E-i-C, I was also invited to observe a meeting to discuss the next East Asia Weed Science Congress, This was chaired by Dr Do-Soon Kim (Seoul), a member of our Editorial Board. This meeting is …

Ecosystem services – a bit of a mess

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Ecosystem function, ecosystem processes, ecosystem services, final ecosystem services, ecosystem goods, natural capital and biodiversity – all these terms are currently very popular in ecological and related circles, reflecting the improved links between science and policy.These are important, as society considers its options for increased food production, the threats of climate change and the needs of species, habitat and landscape conservation.A recent paper by Mace, Norris and Fitter (TREE, January 2012; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534711002424, for those with academic access) gives a comprehensive review of the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services. Reading this paper and a series of in-depth research proposals on the subject over recent weeks confirms my suspicions that the area is complex and conceptually messy.As scientists, we need to have our concepts sorted, preferably elegantly, before we can make headway in presenting evidence …

Christmas and New Year 2012

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We are all back at work and well in to 2012, but just a word or two before more academic blogs follow -
We had a lovely family Christmas - a great treat to have everyone home, so a big thank you for travelling from Scotland.  We thoroughly enjoyed having everyone home - Gareth and Sarah, Mike and Karen and star of the show, grandaughter Abbie - 14 months and crawling, a really happy soul, starting words.  She says "Hiya" to everyone - great fun in supermarkets!
Hope you all have a wonderful 2012.