Seeds for survival: a global history of seed banking


  • Dr Helen Curry

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Project summary

This Seed Award will act as a launch pad for a major multi-year, multi-researcher project on the history of seed banking as a global conservation practice, which is largely uncharted and highly complex. It will seek to understand: how the genetic diversity of plant species came to be seen as a critical but imperilled resource essential to human survival; how see banks came to be seen as the obvious solution to the threat of losing such diversity; and the consequences of these ideas – and the institutions and activities they inspired for global food security and human wellbeing in the present.

This project will allow for the identification of the relevant archival resources and living individuals who might be future sources of oral histories, scoping of archival materials, and a workshop to bring relevant expertise to, and generate a research network around this topic.