The International Society for Horticultural Science
A short introduction
The International Society for Horticultural Science - in short ISHS - was officially founded in 1959. With over 5,000 Individual Members in some 128 countries, 300 Organisation Members and 54 Member Countries, the ISHS has become a guarantee for global Horticultural Research update. The International Society for Horticultural Science aims to promote research in all branches of Horticulture. It encourages the development of international co-operation, bringing together scientific and technical professionals to stimulate, facilitate and co-ordinate research and scientific activities on an international scale.
For more historical facts and figures check out the ISHS History page
|ISHS: Global Horticultural Network|
Written by W.J. Simpson
The International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) was founded in April 1959 as a global network of horticulturists and horticultural scientists seeking international co-operation. There are now over 5,000 members worldwide and it is an organisation, which provides a focus for all practical and scientific horticultural disciplines. Through its Sections and Commissions, regular symposia, meetings and publications, ISHS enables members to share knowledge on an international scale.
Day-to-day conduct is in the hands of the ISHS Secretariat, based at the Faculty of Agriculture, K.U. Leuven, in Leuven, Belgium.
The Society’s policies are administrated by a small Board of Directors.
The Council, which meets every two years, is made up of delegates representing the interest of countries/states, which have contributed an organisational fee. It has been a tradition to elect the Board of Directors from the Council at the Congress held every fourth year.
In addition to the Council and various sub-Committees, the Executive Committee is made up of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Sections and Commissions. It is via these groups that ISHS communicates with members, all of whom have sectional interests. Sections cover the major horticultural crops grown throughout the world. The Commissions relate to different scientific and technical aspects of horticulture.
Sections and Commissions establish working groups to study specialist subjects areas and the conveners and membership comprise eminent horticulturists/horticultural scientists. Currently there are more than 90 such working groups and others are formed to meet an identified need. From the groups new Commissions have been created, one of the more recent ones being Education and Training.
Thus, the Executive is charged primarily with setting the scientific/technical agenda of the ISHS and its forthcoming programme of work.
The success of the ISHS as a means of communication and interaction leading to international co-operation is largely through the 30 or more specialised symposia held annually. These are organised locally in a country, each with a convener and organising committee. Designed to be self-financing the symposia tend to concentrate on a technical subject – a crop or research area. Invited speakers present papers, research findings are debated, discussions held, visits arranged and usually and editor compiles a monograph published under the title of Acta Horticulturae. These publications are available, at cost, to all ISHS members and others and are held in many academic/research libraries. English is the official language of ISHS used at meetings and in communications. Since 2001 the entire Acta Horticulturae library (+30,500 articles !) is available online and serves the needs of thousands of researchers all over the world who use the www.actahort.org site to stay in touch with horticultural science.
The other means of regular communication of an ephemeral nature is Chronica Horticulturae, the quarterly magazine of ISHS. Besides containing diary dates, announcements different items of news, details of forthcoming events, there are reports on the activities of sections, commissions, working groups and discussion on major issues affecting horticulture – all giving an international dimension.
Perhaps the major benefit of ISHS membership is the privilege of attending an International Horticultural Congress every four years at discounted rates. The Congresses attended by 2,000 or more delegates are carefully planned over a 48-month period to cover all interests. Beside the major sessions, many workshops, symposia and meetings are held concurrently during the five days. Also, there are opportunities for individuals to exhibit poster displays and make oral presentations on current work. Thus information is shared with a wide audience. Business meetings of the Society and its Commissions take place, while additionally there are numerous social gatherings and sight-seeing opportunities.
If you have not joined, now is your opportunity. More details on ISHS membership including an application form are available from www.ishs.org/members . Special rates for students and members from developing countries.