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Erna’s things

March 24, 2010

There was an interesting posting on the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog yesterday regarding the papers, notebooks and photographs of Prof. Jack Hawkes which got me thinking about the collecting diaries, notebooks and photographs which Erna Bennett must have compiled during her time at FAO. She must have written a large number of trip reports, some of which I know raised a few hairs on the back of her immediate superiors and elsewhere outside FAO. From earlier posts we now know the whereabouts of some of Erna’s personal correspondence.  I imagine that her collecting papers and photographs and other related valuable resources must be at FAO somewhere. If anyone knows for sure then do get in touch.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2010 7:43 am

    I found a bit of passport data on collecting sites in GRC and AFG in her letters to Christian Lehmann and can post these if you are interested.

  2. george ayad permalink
    April 13, 2010 6:24 am

    I was one of the few honoured to have been Erna Bennett’s both student at the international MSc PGR conservation course in B’ham univ. UK then a germplams collector at FAO-IBPGR back in 1975.
    My first encounter with Erna was when she lectured to the MSc course on PGR in 1974-75. Like othher students , I was magnitized by her carisma and sceintific and technical mastering of the subject. Her field collecting experience and scientific findings in countries like Afghanistan has inspired me into the field work and research of PGR. She was then my first boss at FAO-IBPGR durng 19975-79 when she taught me lots of things on PGR collecting and conservation.

    Erna was a great leader and a pioneer in PGR. She stood fast for human values and paid the price!! she was subjected to the worst politically motivated defamation campiagn but her attackers have fallen by the sdielines and never reached her hight as a leader and distinuished pioneer. Lots of her scientifc analysis still stands until today!!! she simply surpassed her time into the futre. There are many memories in my mind of her at work, delivering speeches in conferences and meetigns and in the field collecting. I will search for some of her notes and papers and let you know.

    Suffice now to say that I am proud to have been one of her students and first collector at the international level.

    George Ayad

  3. April 13, 2010 9:55 am

    Dear George, many, many thanks for sharing your thoughts on Erna and the various interactions you had with her. I wasn’t aware that Erna regularly taught on the Birmingham MSc. If you do by chance come across any of her notes or papers and are happy to share that would be much appreciated indeed. Maybe you will have an opportunity to read the many other entries on this blog about Erna. It makes a very interesting colleaction and there is some interesting stuff on her run ins with the ‘powers that be’at the time you mention in your post. Just click on Erna Bennett in the category cloud on the right hand side and it will take you directly to all the relevant entries and comments. Thanks again George.

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