More than 1000 scientists fostering collaboration and impact in European soil science

The EJP SOIL Annual Science Days in Riga, June 2023, provided a crucial opportunity for a multitude of soil scientists from across Europe to discuss progress, share ideas, and foster collaboration.

Claire Chenu, EJP SOIL Coordinator.

EJP SOIL Coordinator, Claire Chenu, emphasizes the significance of this gathering, highlighting the programme’s ambition to go beyond individual research projects and make a substantial impact on soil management and policymaking.

"It’s important for us to meet in Riga because we are such a big programme, and we have several hundred people involved. We need to be able to inform each other about progress and what we are doing. Sharing ideas and thoughts is vital from a research perspective. However, EJP SOIL is not just a collection of research projects—we are much more ambitious than that. It's a programme, and we want the different projects to contribute in an assembled way to have an impact. We expect to achieve significant scientific outputs and make significant impact," says Claire Chenu.

Beyond digital communication

EJP SOIL has evolved into a thriving network that brings together over 1000 soil scientists from across Europe. Through this collaboration, the programme is building a robust foundation for research in sustainable soil management.

While digital tools have enabled effective communication over distances, Claire Chenu emphasizes the value of face-to-face interactions.

"We have all become very adept at using different digital tools for communicating at a distance. However, when you communicate like that, you often have a fixed agenda and stick to it. One of the added values of meeting here in Riga is that we go beyond this. Sometimes new ideas and questions arise, and unplanned discussions commence due to the interaction with other people. That's why it’s so important to meet in a professional but relaxed and friendly atmosphere," says Claire Chenu.

Meeting in person allows for spontaneous discussions, the emergence of new ideas, and the exploration of unforeseen questions. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for EJP SOIL to showcase one of its partners, the University of Latvia, and during the field trip, participants gained valuable insights into the local landscape and soil management practices in the Baltic countries.

Celebrating Achievements

As EJP SOIL continues to grow and make significant contributions to soil science, the programme remains dedicated to fostering collaboration, generating impactful research outcomes, and influencing policymaking. By connecting scientists, sharing knowledge, and providing a platform for discussions, EJP SOIL aims to contribute to shaping the future of soil management in Europe.

Please watch this video (link to Youtube) to discover what Claire Chenu considers her most significant source of pride in EJP SOIL thus far.