Last year in June, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences hosted the first Biotechnology Literacy Day. I spoke at this event, and presented on the “Next Wave” of genetically engineered crops, which we often call Biotech 2.0. It was a fun event and there several awesome speakers and attendees at this inaugural event. I’m pleased to announce that the UF Biotechnology Literacy Day is continuing this year and has an even better lineup this time around! This year’s BLD will happen today, on Monday May 11th, starting at 10 am EDT. I will also be speaking, and you can watch the webcast live!
Here is the schedule of talks and lineup of speakers:
10AM Welcome and introduction – Dr. Kevin M. Folta UF/IFAS
10:15-10:45 Demystifying how biotech traits work
Dr. Curt Hannah, UF/IFAS
10:45-11:15 Safety, regulation and product approval
Dr. Keith Schneider, UF/IFAS
11:15-11:45 The disconnect between science and public perception
Dr. Joy Rumble, PIE Center UF/IFAS
11:45-12:15 Next-generation biotech solutions
Dr. Karl Haro von Mogel, Madison WI, co-Director Biology Fortified, Inc.
12:45-1:00 Reaching a skeptical audience
Dr. Kevin Folta, UF/IFAS
1:00-1:45 Cracking the code on food (Biotech) issues … Communicating as trusted-scientists
J.J. Jones, Center for Food Integrity
1:45-2:15 Crossing over the mountain: How memes are created, spread, mutate, and become culture when they thrive
Vance Crowe, Director of Millennial Engagement, Monsanto Co., St. Louis
2:15-3:15 The science of science communication: The elephant in the room
Tamar Haspel, Food Columnist, Washington Post
3:15- 4:00 Final audience questions and closing remarks
Last year, I was given the task to explain the many different kinds of traits that have been developed for GE crops, and raise awareness about how the biotech landscape is changing. It was a bit of a laundry list – and knowing that, I took a moment to stop and talk about what all of this really means for people. That was the best moment of the whole talk. So this year, I’m going to do this a little differently. Every GE crop has a story – and these stories aren’t so much about plants as they are about people. What if I instead focus on that?