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CSCG Announces Fall 2017 Speaker Series

The center will host four events on GMOs and feeding the world’s population.

Nina Fedoroff, a distinguished expert in molecular biology and recombinant DNA, will speak on the importance of genetically-engineered crops in feeding the expanding global population on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. in Olin Auditorium.

The event is the first in a series sponsored by the Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good.

Fedoroff, a former Evan Pugh Professor at Penn State University, is a winner of the National Medal of Science (2007), a former science and technology adviser to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton (2007-10), a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2011-12).

With decades of experience in plant molecular biology, Fedoroff has published more than 150 papers in scientific journals on the molecular analysis of plant transposable elements, stress responses, and microRNA processing. She has engaged in extensive public outreach, lecturing all over the world on plant science, science diplomacy and the future of food production.

“We’re thrilled to host Dr. Nina Fedoroff, one of the most distinguished scientists ever to visit Ursinus. She’ll be speaking on a subject of critical importance, the challenge of feeding the world’s growing human population in the decades to come,” says Robert Dawley, a professor of biology.

The CSCG speaker series continues Sept. 25 with Dave Mortensen, an expert on ecologically-based pest management and sustainability, adding to the discussion on our dependence on genetically-modified (GM) plants and a suggestion to redirect our approach to agriculture with more thoughtful and ecologically informed systems of thinking.

On Oct. 11, Mitch Hunter will come to campus and move beyond GM crops and consider the larger questions of how many people we will need to feed by 2050, and how it can be done in a  sustainable way.

Those events also take place in Olin Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Finally, a screening of the documentary Food Evolution, produced by filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy in collaboration with the Institute for Food Technologists, will take place Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.

Kennedy describes Food Evolution as a “fully independent investigation into the topic of GMOs every step of the way, interviewing experts on both sides of the aisle and including all points of view.”

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. The location is to be determined. —By Mary Lobo ’15