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APS Centennial Meeting: History of Excellence, Future of Promise

July 26-28, 2008 in Minneapolis, MN

In addition to our normal APS annual meeting plenary sessions (truly exemplary this year!), many special sessions, events and displays are planned to celebrate the APS centennial. Here is a summary of Centennial Meeting highlights that you can enjoy in Minneapolis.

Time Capsule

First on your list of things to do for the centennial meeting (even before you leave home), is to submit your prediction for the future. We are not placing "things" in the time capsule; we are placing your predictions in it. Go to the time caps​ule site (now closed ​) and respond to one or all of the questions posed and submit your predictions for the future of APS and plant pathology. In 25 years, the time capsule will be unsealed to reveal whether our collective thoughts on the future have come true.

Historical Displays

While you are in the Convention Center lobby, be sure to examine the antique scientific instruments and other tools used in the past by plant pathologists. There are sure to be items that will bring back memories (both good and bad) and a few that will be "mystery tools." Use your imagination and take a guess as to their functions! There also will be a display showing the evolution of APS scientific journals in the lobby and a collection of past APS annual meeting T-shirts at the APS Press booth.



Mystery tools. Come to the Historical Display at the 2008 APS Centennial Meeting and test your knowledge of the past!

100 Year Timeline

While you are in the lobby, take time to browse a decade or two of a timeline of the history of plant pathology and of APS. Each of the ten segments summarizes and illustrates highlights from a decade - significant people, places and events in our past. The timeline will be available on APSnet for your future use after the meeting.

Science Museum of Minnesota Display

Want to get out of the Convention Center for a while? A great destination is the Science Museum of Minnesota where our members have created a special display on plant pathology. Go see how we are trying to educate the public about what we do and, if you have time, volunteer to spend some time at the display as a guide. Contact Deborah Samac ( to volunteer.

Special Centennial Sessions

Throughout the meeting, four special Centennial Sessions are included. Below are the dates and times, along with a brief summary and a link for further details.

• Sunday, July 27, 3:15-5:45 p.m.
In Celebration of 100 Yea​rs of APS
This special session looks at our history, with speakers addressing the evolution of APS as a professional scientific society, the growth of APS as a publisher of journals and books, the role of APS in public service and education, APS leadership / cooperation in international agriculture and programs, and APS leadership of plant pathology within the life sciences. This program also will be presented as a plenary session in Turino, Italy in late August at the 9th International Congress of Plant Pathology.

• Monday, July 28, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Plant Pathology in 1908/2008
Plant pathology has come a long way in the century since APS was founded. Presentations from 1908 on phytobacteriology and chestnut blight will be followed by 2008 updates on these two topics to illustrate the progress of our science in the last 100 years. All speakers will be plant pathologists - come enjoy presentations in 1908 costumes and with lantern slides! The historical presentations are based on material presented at the first "annual" APS meeting.

  Erwin F. Smith used Koch’s postulates to prove bacteria could cause plant diseases, a controversial topic when APS was founded.  

• Monday, July 28, 3:15-5:45 p.m.
Optimizing Opportunities for Everyone in Plant Pathology
This special session examines where we stand today in terms of the status of women and underrepresented groups in plant pathology, and how we have worked to optimize opportunity for everyone in our discipline. It also will examine what we need to do for those who still face unfair barriers to success in our field. A lively and challenging discussion will follow the presentations by distinguished speakers.

• Tuesday, July 29, 2:45-5:45 p.m.
The Future of Plant P​athology
The field of plant pathology is pushing forward with new and exciting technologies and applications. The impacts of genomics and bioinformatics tools, high-power computing capabilities, remote-sensing devices and online databases, global food markets and regulatory networks will be discussed in this exciting look into our future. Come see "crystal-ball" presentations on the future of plant pathology, and explore how to attract and retain students who will become future plant pathologists.

Oral History DVD

To celebrate our past, an oral history DVD with interviews of six distinguished plant pathologists, as well as "pathologist on the street" segments from many of our members, will be given to each meeting attendee. You can view segments of the DVD in the lobby of the Convention Center, as well as preceding several of the special sessions. The DVD provides an historical perspective of APS and plant pathology, as told by plant pathologists.

"The 100-Year History of APS"

Attendees of the centennial meeting also will receive a written history of The American Phytopathological Society from 1908-2008. This summary of our Society is an important record of how it has grown in vision and scope over 100 years, and of the significant contributions that it has made to science and to society.

More History

If you want to know more about APS or plant pathology history, APS Press has a wonderful assortment of books and documents. ​