Monday 20th May – 1-2pm – Seminar Room, Byrne House

You are invited to the next session of the Biological Interest Group on Monday 29th April. As usual it will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 1-2pm. Participants can bring lunch and drinks if they wish.

Paul Brassley will be leading the session, which will be based on work entitled ‘Knowledge networks in UK farming 1935-1985’.

This article is much longer than the usual BIG contribution, for which the author apologises. It is designed to be a chapter of a book on technical change in English agriculture during the period 1939-1985. The book uses data from south west England, held in archives that are probably unique to Exeter University, and the subject of a research programme that has been going on since late 2009, to address the question of why technical change in agriculture was so rapid in the postwar period, as it was over much of western Europe, when it had previously been so slow. This particular chapter examines the function of knowledge networks in the process of technical change, from the original commissioning of scientific research on agricultural problems to the adoption of new technologies at the farm level. Paul does not expect people to read the whole of a 20,000 word piece, but he would be particularly interested in comments on what I have written from pp. 27-44, and especially on the conclusions on pp.40-44.

The article can be obtained by emailing Jim Lowe at jwel201 [at] – as it is a work in preparation please do not disseminate further without Dr. Brassley’s express permission.

For any further information on BIG, please contact either me at jwel201 [at] or Sabina Leonelli at S.Leonelli [at]


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