A Look Across Continents at the Public & Plant Biotech

Oxford University Press has published a new edited volume featuring research on public opinion and media coverage of the plant biotech debate in the US, Europe, Africa, India,and Brazil. The volume is edited by Dominique Brossard and James Shanahan, professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University respectively, along with Clint Nesbitt, a scientist at USDA.

Below is a table of contents. I contributed the chapter on "Where Do Science Debates Come From?," co-authored with Mike Huge, a graduate student I worked with at Ohio State.

Table of Contents

-Perspectives on communication about agricultural biotechnology.
-Public perceptions of agricultural biotechnology in Britain: the case of genetically modified foods.
-German reactions to genetic engineering in food production.
-Mass media and public perceptions of red and green biotechnology. A case study from Switzerland.
-Genetically Modified Foods: U.S. Public Opinion Research Polls.
-Biotechnology and consumer information.
-What do Brazilians think about transgenics?
-Where do science debates come from? Understanding attention cycles and framing.
-Opinion climates, spirals of silence, and biotechnology; Public opinion as a heuristic for scientific decision-making.
-The hostile media effect and opinions about biotechnology.
-Risk communication, risk beliefs, and democracy: The case of agricultural biotechnology
-The GEO-PIE Project: Case study of web-based outreach at Cornell University, USA.
-Governing controversial technologies: Consensus conferences as a communication tool.
-The Bt corn experience in the Philippines: A multi-stakeholder convergence.
-Food aid crisis and communication about GM foods: Experience from Southern Africa.
-Approval process and adoption of Bollgard Cotton in India :A private company perspective.

Trusting your instincts is lazy: Poker pro Liv Boeree on Big Think Edge

International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to make decisions with the clarity of a World Series Poker Champion.
  • Liv Boeree teaches analytical thinking for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists reactivate cells from 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth

"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."

Yamagata et al.
Surprising Science
  • The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
  • Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
  • Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Keep reading Show less

Here's when machines will take your job, as predicted by A.I. gurus

An MIT study predicts when artificial intelligence will take over for humans in different occupations.

Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP / Getty Images
Surprising Science

While technology develops at exponential speed, transforming how we go about our everyday tasks and extending our lives, it also offers much to worry about. In particular, many top minds think that automation will cost humans their employment, with up to 47% of all jobs gone in the next 25 years. And chances are, this number could be even higher and the massive job loss will come earlier.

Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are captured for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

An Atlantic horseshoe crab in an aquarium. Photo: Domdomegg via Wikimedia Commons.
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less