Welcome to the blog of Martin and Margot Hodson! You can find out a lot about us by visiting our web site at www.hodsons.org We do not think we will use this blog very often, but we will use it to let people have details of some of our publications our speaking engagements and conferences. Some of these things seem better on a blog than on a web page, and this looks a bit easier to do as well.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Bible Reading Fellowship studies on Environment

BRF Bible Studies

 Last year Margot Hodson was asked to write twelve Bible Studies on Environment for the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) in the UK. The studies were published in a booklet intended for use in January-April 2013. But the advantage of these studies is that they are not fixed to particular dates. We have now found that BRF are using the Environment studies as a FREE sample which can be downloaded in PDF format (you need to register, but there is no charge!). The studies are:

Old Testament
1 A good creation
2 Humans and nature
3 Rest and relationship
4 Called to the land and called to justice
5 Going beyond limits
6 The earth mourns

New Testament
1 Born into his own creation
2 The miraculous catch of fish
3 Creation groaning
4 Held together in Christ
5 Creation made new
6 Our gospel hope

These are intended as an introductory set of studies for people who have little or no previous experience in this topic area, but even "experts" will find something new!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Functional Biology of Plants- One Year On

One Year On

It is one year today (13 Apr 2012) since the official publication date of Functional Biology of Plants by Martin J. Hodson and John A. Bryant. What has happened concerning our book in that time? Quite a lot actually!
John had published several textbooks before, but this was a new experience for Martin, and we both had no idea how the book would be received, and what would happen to it. We are now in a digital age, and Functional Biology of Plants was available on Kindle and other electronic formats as well as in the traditional hardback and paperback versions. But as we will see a lot of the publicity and marketing for the book has been through various on-line means. But before then:


We were fortunate to have two opportunities to celebrate the publication of our book within the first few months of it coming out. First Martin met with John Bryant when they both attended the same conference in May 2012 (bottom middle photo in the collage above). Then another little celebration! This time in Oxford at Cafe Noir for a nice meal in the company of David Evans (Head of the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences at Oxford Brookes University) and Rachel Wade from Wiley-Blackwell (who took the photo: l. to r. Martin Hodson, David Evans and John Bryant).

The Facebook Page

Martin had quite a bit of experience running various Facebook pages, and this seemed an ideal time to try it out with our book. As far as we know nobody has seriously tried to market a Plant Science textbook, or indeed any other textbook, using Facebook before. We set up the page on 1st March 2012, over a month before the publication date. Martin and John invested a little in marketing the page, and we soon started to gain interest. Our publishers, Wiley-Blackwell saw that it was working and generously added to the overall marketing pot. The page grew and grew, and is now heading towards 5,000 likes, many of which are from India. John and I regularly update the page with photos, stories and the latest from the world of plant science. If you have not visited the page go HERE.


 So far reviews have come from three sources:
1) Amazon UK have published eight reviews. These have been excellent with seven 5 star and only one 4 star. The latter was really wanting a gardening book, so it is not surprising he felt he needed a brain transplant after reading our book! There was also one further 5 star review in Amazon Japan. Unfortunately, none of the UK or Japanese reviews have translated across to Amazon in the USA.
2) The review with the biggest impact was by Choice who selected our book for their award list: “Students who are new to plant science will be quite well served, as will graduate students and others needing to develop fuller understandings and perspectives on their research.” – Choice, 1 November 2012. This prestigious list contains approximately 10% of the 7,000 titles reviewed by Choice in a year. Ours was one of 24 Wiley titles selected.
3) Reviews in academic journals have been predictably slower, and so far we only know of one. "Martin Hodson and John Bryant have written the most captivating and elementary textbook on modern plant biology. It might be read from cover to cover by anyone seeking an introduction to the subject, but seems especially suited to high school, undergraduate and vocational courses." Philip White  in Experimental Agriculture. 
So as good as it can get!

Old Gang mine in Swaledale in North Yorkshire, UK.
Other Good Publicity

In addition to the above our book has had some other good publicity during the past year.
Before we were even published there was a short note in AoB Blog.
Dr Anne Osterrieder has been a good friend of our book. She mentioned our Facebook Page (see above) as an example of good practice in using Facebook in her talk (slide 13) on enhancing the on line presence of scientists at the SEB meeting in Salzburg, Austria. She also interviewed both Martin Hodson and John Bryant for her blog, giving good plugs for the book along the way.
Martin was asked to write a review for The Biochemist Magazine on "Metal toxicity and tolerance in plants" and the editor kindly suggested a small plug (and photo of the book cover) within the article.

NEXT YEAR- watch this space!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Earth is the Lord’s

The Earth is the Lord’s
Dr Martin Hodson will be giving a workshop entitled "The Theology of the Land" at the South West Rural Conference 2013 which will take place at Bicton College, Budleigh Salterton on Wednesday May 1st 2013 (10am-4pm). The conference is organised by the Joint Rural Issues Group of the Dioceses of Exeter and of Truro, and the Methodist Districts of Cornwall and of Plymouth and Exeter.

The main speakers are: Prof Sir John Marsh, Prof Michael Winter and Rt Rev Michael Langrish. The other workshop will be organised by Dr Tim Gibson.

DOWNLOAD a leaflet giving more information and details of booking from the Arthur Rank Centre.