STARS 2020

Aims and overview

Last year our aim was to have a one-off conference to celebrate STARS at “peak STARS”, the point of maximum students within the CDT. Such was the success, that it was agreed to hold another conference the following year.

STARS 2020 was designed to have a different feel, with a more outward facing focus; engaging with strategic partners in the wider world of policy, industry agriculture and the media, to look at ways in which soil science can inform, support and learn from them.

The conference was framed around the three themes of

  • Policy 
  • Industry 
  • The media

The conference was also used to launch ideas for the STARS legacy, with the newly appointed Legacy Fellow, Dan Evans getting the ball rolling with an interesting and thought provoking session.

From the outset, it was envisaged that there should be an emphasis on wellbeing and promotion of good mental health. To that end wellbeing and yoga sessions were included in the programme.


Key note speakers included Jessica Bellarby of the Environment Agency, Nuffield Scholar, Vicky Robinson and broadcaster, Caz Graham.

Further guest speakers took part throughout the event.

Celebrating the first STARS graduates was a special moment, with presentations and speeches. We also enjoyed the launch of the STARS film, World Soil Orders and Their Formation in The Canary Islands.  

The agenda is available here

The conference handbook is available here.

The film is available here.