Research Group

The threats to earthworms by the identification of flatworm in the UK spurred a splintering of the experimental circle into the circle and a ‘Research Group.’ Clearly this was not to everyone’s delight but echos the concerns of Mr Ellis in the 1950s about the lack of output and concerted activity in the Circle. This group was headed by Richard Thornton Smith and had members such as Freya Schikorr, John Wilkes and Nick Thomas. The starting date of this initiative is not clear but the termination date is noted on the bottom of the letter below.

To the Council of The Biodynamic Agricultural Association

Dear Bernard [Jarman]
Termination of the Association’s Research Group
As you were at the meeting last weekend of the Experimental Circle you will recall that agreement was reached to dissolve the above Group and subsume its activities within those of the Experimental Circle
It is no secret that senior members of the Circle had been opposed to the existence of the Research Group from its inception while latterly it has become increasingly evident to the Group’s own members that it was not achieving its original ains of stimulating or undertaking experimental research, except on an individual hasis As several regular participants were members of both Group and Circle the separation appeared increasingly unhelpful to the biodynamic cause. It was therefore agreed by the Group at its last meeting that this matter would be addressed at the next Circle meeting and suggestions for a way forward made
Following the Circle meeting it is now agreed that those concerned with particular research fields will meet as and when appropriate throughout the year and subject to their membership of the Circle, will make periodic contributions on their progress This will be guided by the themes of Carele meetings
In summary then, the Research Group has now voluntarily detached itself from being a working group of the Association and of Council, and chosen to align and unite its activities with those of the Experimental Circle. The Experimental Circle welcomes this move and sees its own future dependant on becoming more open to a wider membership
To those concerned about a possible weakening of future Council-based initiatives in the research field, I would say that scientific investigative research will send to remain the province of individuals and small groups as already mentioned, while research and development issues are matters which probably should be taken up by a Demeter group and supported as appropriate by Council
I will hope to be at the next Council meeting so I will be able to answer questions if there are those wanting more explanation
With warm regards Sincerely
Dr Richard Thornton Smith
Research Group Chairman