Current issue: 56(4)
This paper is a commentary which summarises the history of the Finnish Society of Forest Science and its connection to the corresponding society in the field of agriculture, the Scientific Agricultural Society of Finland. The original idea when the Scientific Agricultural Society of Finland was founded was that the society would function as a scientific society for both forest scientists and agronomists. However, A.K. Cajander founded a separate academy for forest sciences. The article discusses the implications of this decision.
Agricultural education in Finland begun in 1840, when an agricultural college started its activity in the estate of Mustiala in Southern Finland. A decree published in 1896 stated that the highest agricultural education should be transferred from Mustiala to the University of Helsinki, and two professorships and an assistant professorship should be established. The first professor of agricultural chemistry was appointed in 1900, and the work to compile the scheme for the agricultural university studies was started. By 1957 the personnel had increased to ten professorships and 23 docents.
In 1924 the section of agriculture of the Philosophical faculty was changed to the Faculty of agriculture and forestry. By the spring 1957 a total of 2,180 Bachelor of Agriculture Examinations, 2,196 Bachelor of Forestry Examinations and 1,198 Candidate’s Examinations had been attained. Experimental farms were established in Viik an in Malminkartano in 1931, however, the areas were in the beginning leased to the Prison Administration. The farm in Viik had also laboratories for research purposes. In 1949 it was decided that also the agricultural institutes should be placed in Viik.
The highest forest education was established in a forest college in Evo in Central Finland in 1862. In 1900 it was suggested that also the highest forest education should be transferred to the University of Helsinki. It was affirmed by a decree in 1906. In 1957 there was 8 professors and 15 lecturers in the faculty. A large adjustment in the content of the examination was performed in 1951. Up to spring 1957 a total of 2,196 Bachelor of Forestry Examinations was achieved in the faculty.
The education of home economics commenced in the faculty of agriculture and forestry in 1946.
The article includes an English summary.
Applied research in the fields of agriculture and forestry is as demanding as theoretical research. The perception that it could be less exact is incorrect. Different variables have to be accounted for, for instance in cultivation of cereals. To define the effect of one variable, the scientist has to know and take account of the combined effect of the all the variables influencing the growth of the species. Results that can be put into practice are often demanded quickly, and the they should be broadly applicable. The research and education in the fields of agriculture and forestry have to respond to domestic needs. It is therefore necessary to secure that the research has sufficient equipment and premises.
The higher education and research of agriculture and forestry should be organized in the capital of the country, where the main organizations of the field are located. The present buildings of the faculty are, however, not adequate for teaching and research. The applied sciences need also connections to practice. Forest education has a forest experimental area, but agricultural education has no experimental fields in its use. The best location would be in Wiik area near the capital Helsinki. In addition, the teaching staff in the faculty is insufficient. New professorships should be established both in agriculture and forestry.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The article is a proposal for organizing higher education on agriculture and forestry in Finland. The committee assessed that the best location for both forestry and agriculture education is the capital of Helsinki, where are situated the University of Helsinki, the College of Technology, the College of Commerce, most scientific institutions of the country, and the central government departments. Because the degree programs cannot be extended to include all the subjects of the developing fields of agriculture and forestry, it is suggested that the studies of agriculture will have four, and the studies of forestry three disciplines. The students would specialize in one main subject. The faculty should be divided into agricultural science and forest science sections.
The present teaching staff is considered insufficient. Thus, the committee proposes several new posts of professors, lecturers and teachers. Another problem is shortage of suitable premises. Therefore, new buildings should be constructed for the education of agriculture and forestry, and the Forest Research Institute. Agricultural experimental estates are proposed to be established in the Wiik estate and in the Malmgård estate. Accordingly, forest experimental station would be established at Korkeakoski. To enable the education of scientifically schooled personnel, grants should be provided for both studies abroad and for scientific work in Finland.
The PDF includes a summary in English.