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Interview with Dr Kieth Jones, Director of the Cytology department.
TRANSCRIPT: Interviewer, "Dr Jones does this work on plant anatomy and plant genetics just end at producing bigger and more beautiful plants."
Dr Jones, "No It is not aimed directly at that, its all aimed at the better understanding of the structure and behaviour of plants, and this inevitably must result in better plants."
Interviewer, "And the gardener and the farmer eventually benefit from the sort of thing."
Dr Jones "Oh indeed, I think this is inevitable, a better understanding of fundamental structure invariably has its practical application."
Interviewer "Now under special circumstances you also perform a public service in identifying things that are sent in to you from anatomists."
Dr Jones "Yes on occasion this is so, this has principally been the function of the anatomy department, and it has identified in its time a very strange collection of things, frequently it identifies roots which have dropped in to people's drains, and also parts of furniture and parts of implements and once on the famous head of Gogan which is carved from wood from Tahiti, and this to was identified as to the timber."
Interviewer, "You also have students here don't you."
Dr Jones "Yes we have sixty students who are applied in the gardens as a labour force, but they get practical training that way and they also have an extensive series of lectures at Kew and after three years they leave with the Kew diploma."
Interview with Peter Thompson, plant physiology.
Interviewer, "Now these Don't look much like plants to me Dr, want in fact in going on here."
Dr Thompson "No in fact these are not quite plants yet, these are seeds of Orchids which are trying to grow."
Interviewer "Could we have a look at one of them."
Dr Thompson "Yes, surely, here they are, they are grown on a jelly made with sugar, and various nutrients and minerals."
Interviewer "So you are experimenting with food."
Dr Thompson "Yes that's right, and by changing the concentrations we can then find with which one they grow better."
Interviewer "Now what is the wider application of this sort of work."
Dr Thompson "Well it has so many applications, which can be used in studies of proper methods of propagation, cuttings, sowing seeds, investigating the dormancy of seeds or on a much wider scale of the field one may be able to use it eventually to control where British flowers grow and the time when they flower, so that they flower when we want them to."
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