National Library of Australia

You must be logged in to Tag Records
Erna Bennett interviewed by Gregg Borschmann in the Environmental awareness in Australia oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 513784
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Author
Bennett, Erna, Interviewee
 
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1994 Nov. 21 
4 digital audio tapes (ca. 280 min.) 
Series

Environmental awareness in Australia oral history project.

Summary

Bennett, a plant geneticist and journalist, talks about her family background; childhood in Derry and Belfast; father's influence; religion; interest in biology; impact of WWII and experience in armed forces. She then talks about her development from middle class child to communist; defection from British allied forces during war and court-martial at end of war. Bennett then discusses her study of botany, at London University and Durham University, specialising in genetics and physiology and graduation in 1953. She then describes her difficulties in finding employment because of her communism and finally taking a position at the National Library for Science and Technology, International Exchange Division, followed by a research position with the Scottish Plant Breeding Station. Bennett then talks about the coining of the term, "genetic conservation" and her involvement with the FAO conference on genetic conservation held in Rome in 1967.

She then discusses the influence of Jim Gregor, director of the Scottish Plant Breeding Station, on her work. Bennett then looks at the nature of the "green revolution"; genetic erosion; involvement in local internal FAO politics; establishment of the Joint Action Committee; resignation from FAO on May 1, 1981 and return to journalism full-time. Changes seen in both the FAO and CGIAR are discussed as well as the question of how issues affecting genetic diversity within agricultural plants and within communities of wild plants will affect forestry issues.

Notes

Recorded on Nov. 21, 1994 in Katoomba, N.S.W.

Digital master available National Library of Australia;

Index/Finding Aid Note Corrected transcript (typescript, 76 leaves) 
Subjects Bennett, Erna -- Interviews.  |  Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.  |  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  |  Plant geneticists -- Australia -- Interviews.
Occupation Scientists.
Other authors/contributors Borschmann, Gregg (Gregg John), 1955-, Interviewer

Online

    In the Library

    Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video Help Video.

    Details Collect From
    ORAL TRC 3179
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 3179 (transcript)
    Copy: Transcript
    Special Collections Reading Room

    Order a copy

    - Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. We will contact you if necessary.

    Help Video To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video Help Video.
    close Can I borrow items from the Library?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    close What can I get online?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    close Can I get copies of items from the Library?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
    Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.