Roger BEACHY

Professor, Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, USA

Wednesday 26 February 2020 |12:00 noon – ICGEB Trieste, ITALY – Suspended until further notice

Science, Technology and Agriculture in a Changing Environment

Host: L. Banks

The agriculture and food industries are at the cusp of significant change, driven by a variety of new technologies and pulled by consumer preferences and attitudes. Generational attitudes towards this industry show several trends: first, there is a greater willingness of post-Millennials to accept genetic technologies than do their parents; and increasing concern about agriculture’s ghg emissions and growing pressure to apply regenerative practices are of higher priority than in the past. If these trends continue, there is opportunity for new players in the ag and food space that develop goods and services that are different than those practiced by the large mega-companies whose successes are measured by increasing food production per se as the preferred approach to reduce hunger around the globe. The growing challenges that come as a consequence of global climate disruption, coupled with continuing population growth, should focus us as scientists and engineers to look to new solutions that embrace the needs of all components of society. The changes that we bring collectively must ensure the economic success of farmers and healthy outcomes of consumers while preserving the natural resource base upon which the ag and food economy is based.