Social Science Research on GE Crop Adoption and Acceptance 

The committee held a webinar on Wednesday February 4, 2015 at 2pm – 4pm EST to gather information from invited speakers:

Mary Hendrickson,  Assistant Professor, University of Missouri. bio

Mary Hendrickson is an assistant professor in the Department of Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri. As a food systems researcher, she focuses on understanding the changes taking place in the global food system and helping farmers, eaters, and communities create profitable alternatives. Her research projects include examining the economic impacts of local food systems on remote rural communities and addressing the competitive nature of current agricultural systems from a network perspective. From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Hendrickson was part of a team participating in a Community of Practice to assess the way smallholders use genetically engineered crops in South Africa. Dr. Hendrickson currently serves as the Undergraduate Advisor Chair in Sustainable Agriculture and teaches courses on sustainable food and farming systems. She previously spent 15 years working to create local food systems across Missouri as a state extension specialist for the University of Missouri. She has served as president of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society and of the Community Food Security Coalition. Dr. Hendrickson is the recipient of the 2012 Meritorious Service Award presented by the National Farmers Union for her service to agriculture. She holds a B.S. in agribusiness from the University of Nebraska and a M.S. and Ph.D. in rural sociology from the University of Missouri.

Matthew Schnurr,  Associate Professor, Dalhousie University. bio

Matthew Schnurr is an associate professor in the Department of International Development Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is an environmental geographer with research and teaching interests in environment and development, political ecology, and agricultural biotechnology, with regional interests in east and southern Africa. His current research investigates efforts to develop genetically engineered versions of staple crops in Uganda, with a particular focus on evaluating farmer perspectives on these soon-to-be-released technologies. Dr. Schnurr earned his B.S. from Queen’s University, his M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

Abby Kinchy,  Associate Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. bio

Abby Kinchy is an associate professor in the Science and Technology Studies Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and specializes in the study of political controversies surrounding changes in the systems that produce food and energy. She is the author of Seeds, Science, and Struggle: The Global Politics of Transgenic Crops (MIT, 2012) and numerous articles on science, technology, the environment, and social protest. Her current research, the Watershed Knowledge Mapping Project, looks at civil society organizations that are attempting to monitor the impacts of shale gas development on surface water quality and how these efforts are transforming what is known and unknown about this controversial new form of energy production.

The speakers’ presentations addressed how farmers and consumers participate in local food systems, the debate over the potential of GE crops to improve yields and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the compatibility of GE crop production with social objectives.

The webinar is an information-gathering meeting for the committee in which the speakers are invited to provide input to the committee.

View the recording of this webinar below.*

*Audio with the presenter was lost at 01:22:18. The presentation resumes at 01:27:14.

Presentations for each speaker start at the below timestamps:

  • Mary Hendrickson: 00:08:30
  • Matthew Schnurr: 00:37:10
  • Abby Kinchy: 01:15:55

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