W2 : DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SCIENTIFIC AND EMPIRICAL RESEARCH, DOES IT MATTER AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR CAREER?

This workshop is designed primarily for horticulturists who are in the early stages of their careers. The goal of this workshop is to address a topic that rarely gets openly discussed, but is very important to understand for researchers who hope to have a profession in horticultural research.
As horticulturists we often engage in Scientific Research, Empirical Research and/or Technology research. Our goal as horticulturists is mostly directed at discovering factors, processes or technologies that are useful for improving the productivity, quality and/or sustainability of horticultural crops and/or practices. This can involve all of three types of research. However, it also creates a tension regarding the appropriate foci of our research programs.
In academic settings scientific research is often given the highest priority because academic goals generally involve the creation of new knowledge. On the other hand, industry clientele are generally not interested in creation of new knowledge or understanding. They want concrete, demonstrated answers that address their problems. This may involve results of empirical research showing the effectiveness of a particular solution or the development of new technologies.
This workshop will discuss this topic and a small panel of senior horticulturists will present in a round table their views and experiences in how they have dealt with these issues.

The panel will include:
• Evelyne Costes, INRAE/University of Montpellier, France
• Chris Watkins, Cornell University, USA
• Bart Nicolai, KU Leuven, Belgium
• Ian Warrington, Massey University, New Zealand
• Ted DeJong, UC Davis, USA