We are all familiar with the three constants of life: death, taxes – and strategic planning. As professionals, we are frequently getting involved in developing vision statements, strategies for change, action plans, performance indicators, impact metrics, review processes and so on. Strategic planning goes in cycles. At the national level we are now engaged in a new exercise, setting broad directions for the future of rural research and, in particular, biosecurity science. This is likely to impact on the future of professionals in microbiology and beyond. As always with these exercises, it is the ‘journey’ rather than the ‘destination’ that is important, as it enables us to take stock and reflect on where we are heading in terms of future capacity. This paper outlines some of these planning activities and earlier findings, with a focus on future capacity in plant pathology, but the lessons apply to all readers of this journal. It is important that members of the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM) and other professional societies engage in these strategic planning efforts to shape our own future.
The tale of a tiny worm, the bacteria that live inside her, and a tree being munched on by a grub.