Over many decades we have learned a lot about how plants grow and the phenomenology of their physiology, development and defence systems. More recently, tremendous progress has been made in identifying the molecular components of these biological systems and characterising their biochemical activities. We know about kinases and transcription factors, and about hydrolases and synthases. The bottleneck now is to put it all back together, bridging the gap between the parts and the behaviour of the whole. We need a way to describe and discretise the dynamical systems that act in this gap.
Meanwhile, there is an equally problematic gap between science and the rest of s ociety. It is imperative that we open science up and engage widely with society as a whole. Unless we do, we will not attract a sufficiently diverse set of people into science, and the full benefits of science will be lost to society.