Biotech 2.1 at UF Biotechnology Literacy Day

biotech-literacyLast 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:

Final Schedule:

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.

12:15-12:45 BREAK

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?

Follow Karl Haro von Mogel:

Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He recently moved back to his home state of California. His favorite produce might just be squash.