Professor and Eugene Butler Endowed Chair Texas A&M University
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The original decadal vision for plant science was released in 2013, and its recommendations led to the development of the interdisciplinary Phenome 2017 Conference as well as the Plant Science Research Network (PSRN) which links 15 scientific societies. The 2020-2030 Plant Science Decadal Vision retreat convened at Biosphere 2 following the Phenome 2019 conference and included some 50 representatives from across PSRN member societies, industry, and funding agencies. The group described how plants play an indispensable role in the future health of the planet and its inhabitants, and the importance that we understand and communicate these interactions. Future plant science must think and operate across domains of discovery that span scales from global to molecular to leverage the power of plants, integrating expertise and knowledge from many disciplines, including the phenomics community. The three Decadal Vision priority areas are summarized as: The Plant Science Research Agenda, Workforce Development, and Systems and Support. The four major research agenda goals include 1) Harnessing plants for planetary resilience through deep understanding of ecological diversity and evolutionary change; 2) Advancing technology and diversity-driven sustainable plant production systems; 3) Developing 21st-century applications of plant science to improve nutrition, health and well-being; 4) Developing a “Transparent Plant” tool to discern mechanistic insights and solve vexing and urgent problems. How each of the research goals require participation of the Phenomics community will be described. Two workforce goals broadly affect all that work in the interface of plant science and beyond 5) Reimagine the workplace to nurture and support adaptive and diverse scientists; 6) Build capacity and interest to engage with plant science. The two technology goals 7) New tools to revolutionize research and 8) Ensure and realize the potential of Big Data are most directly related to the Phenome communities unique expertise and will be highlighted.