09.29.2022

Remembering Jane

SoAR is deeply saddened to share that Dr. Jane Silverthorne passed away on Monday, August 15, 2022. The news has come as a shock to her SoAR colleagues, her family, her many friends and colleagues, and the plant science community. Her absence will be deeply felt.

Jane was, above all else, a mentor. From her time in California to Washington, DC; the National Science Foundation to SoAR, she always played the role of professor, inspiring others, lifting promising voices, and altogether seeing the opportunities–scientific, personal, and other–that others didn’t. You would be hard pressed to find a leading plant scientist working today who doesn’t credit Jane’s mentorship as a pivotal moment in their careers.

While her mentorship may be the memory that stays with us, her prowess as a scientist and as a visionary cannot be overstated. “She could spin gold from straw”, said one former colleague,  reflecting on her ability to deliver breakthrough insights where others saw noise. 

Jane joined SoAR as a senior science advisor after her retirement from the National Science Foundation. She was instrumental in developing SoAR’s global portfolio and her guidance helped SoAR, our partners, governments, and philanthropies find a way forward through research and plant science towards helping the world’s most vulnerable farmers. 

To put it best is to perhaps quote from her obituary

“Dr. Silverthorne touched many lives through her work and as a leader in her community. She helped guide the careers of countless young scientists and other professionals in government and academia. She shared her passion for science and good government with people around the world, and she appreciated and celebrated art, music, and culture in every form. She cared deeply for her friends and loved ones. She will be greatly missed.”

More Stories from the community