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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

History

CABI has a history of over a century of scientific endeavour. Since its beginnings as an entomological committee in 1910, CABI has developed into a truly international development-led organization, supported by both a first-class publishing division and a solid scientific research base.

We've produced a 100 year book to celebrate our centenary which provides a history of the organization throughout the ages.

1910

CABI starts with a small grant to fight "one of the enemies of mankind", the devastating impact of pests and diseases on man, animals and crops. The story begins with the formation  of the Entomological Research Committee (Tropical Africa). One field entomologist is posted to East Africa and one to West Africa to collect and study insects injurious to humans, crops and animals. Collected specimens are sent to the British Museum, known today as the Natural History Museum, in London for identification.

Bulletin of Entomological Research launched.

 Sir Guy Marshall, founder of CABI, with Mr Nazir Ahmad Aslam, a student from Pakistan

Sir Guy Marshall, founder of CABI, with Mr Nazir Ahmad Aslam, a student from Pakistan who later joined the staff of the Commonwealth Institute of Entomology

1913

Formation of the Imperial Bureau of Entomology, under Sir Guy Marshall (1871-1959). Its chief functions are the identification of insect pests and the issue of a monthly periodical giving summaries of all current entomological literature (the first abstract journal was Review of Applied Entomology in two parts Series A - Agricultural, Series B - Medical and Veterinary). 

1920

Imperial Bureau of Mycology at Kew established for the identification of fungal diseases of plants, animals and humans and the abstracting of the mycological literature.

1922

First issue of the Imperial Bureau of Mycology’s abstract journal, Review of Applied Mycology.

1927

Imperial Agricultural Research Conference (IARC) held in London. The IARC agreed to the formation of a number of new bureaux and that they should each produce an abstract journal on their own subject.

1930

The Imperial Agricultural Bureaux is officially formed as a Commonwealth organization. 

1933

The adminstration of the Bureaux of Entomology and Mycology are transferred to the Imperial Agricultural Bureaux.

1938

Bureaux of Dairy Science and Forestry merge with the Imperial Agricultural Bureaux

1947

500 cultures are transferred from The Lister Institute to the Imperial Mycological Institute (IMI) after a British Commonwealth Scientific Official Conference recommends that the IMI should be responsible for living cultures of fungi other than medical fungi and yeasts.

 The phial of penicillium from Fleming collection held by CABI

A phial of Fleming's strain of Penicillin Notatum held in CABI's culture collection

1947   

Imperial Agricultural Bureaux becomes the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux (CAB).

1947   

Imperial Institute of Entomology becomes the Commonwealth Institute of Entomology.

1948   

Imperial Mycological Institute becomes Commonwealth Mycological Institute.

1948

The genesis of our successful centre in Switzerland when a sub-station opened near Zurich, moving to Delemont in 1958.

1950's-1970's

A series of successful biological control projects in North America led by CABI scientists based in Switzerland: Cyzenis albicans and Agrypons flaveolatum against the winter moth Operophtera brumata; Agathis pumila and other parasitoids against the larch casebearer, Coleophora laricella; Mesoleius tenthredinis and Olesicampe benefactor against the larch sawfly, Pristiphora erichsonii; and Lathrolestes nigricollis against the birch leaf miner, Fenusa pumila.

1957

"Stations" open in India and Pakistan.

1962

Our East African Station was set up in Uganda. One of its first projects concerned the Antestiopsis spp. complex, the main pests of Arabica coffee - bringing the problem under control within 18 months of release.

1973

Contents from all the abstract journals, now computerized, are unified to produce the CAB database (CAB Abstracts).

David J Greathead  packed all the equipment from the research station in Uganda into a landrover and drove across the border into Kenya when Idi Amin's regime made scientific research there impossible. 

1975

Drive for self-sufficiency (self-funding) put into operation following the 1975 Review Conference.

1978

Training courses on Information in Agriculture started for information scientists and librarians.

1980

The number of abstract journals increases from 19 to 45.

1980

News and Information journals developed. These contain news items from all over the world, short digests and review articles, as well as abstracts from world literature.

CAB Abstracts is accessible on SDC Search Service, California, and on ESA and DIMDI in Europe.

1986

Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux becomes CAB International.

1987   

Head Office, database and journal production are centralised to Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK.

1993   

CAB Abstracts available on SilverPlatter software as CABCD.

1993   

The CABI roundel is introduced and replaces the world logo.

1998

International Institute of Entomology, International Institute of Biocontrol, International Mycological Institute and International Institute of Parasitology merge to form CABI Bioscience.

CABI Publishing comes into existence.

1999

Crop Protection Compendium produced; other Compendia follow.

Internet Resources Nutritiongate and AnimalScience.com launches.

2003

CAB Direct, CABI's own platform for CAB Abstracts, launches.

2004

CABI digitises the print abstract journals going back to 1910 to produce Global Health and CAB Abstracts Archive.

2006

CABI Bioscience and CABI Publishing are united under one single CABI brand.

2010

Biocontrol agent to control Japanese Knotweed tested in the field.

2011

CABI launches Plantwise, an initiative to imrove food security and the lives of the rural poor by reducing crop losses.

2012

CAB Direct now holds 10 million records!

Plantwise Knowledge Bank, a global resource to help combat plant health problems, launched.

2013

Tourism, CABI's first major textbook with additional teaching resources, launched.

Plantwise, a plant health programme led by CABI, wins the National Engineering Foundation Award for Innovation in Policy