Why GM Crops Are a Moral Necessity
While some concerns about GM crops are valid, refusing to pursue them while poor countries suffer malnutrition and starvation is irresponsible, says rights activist Isobel Coleman.
What's the Latest Development?
Professor of international development at Harvard, Calestous Juma has called on Africa to form an "International Institute for Biotechnology" that would unite governments, farmers, researchers and private companies to make genetically modified crops a positive force in Africa. If the world is to meet the rising demand for food, sub-Saharan land must be better utilized. Currently, only 4% is irrigated, compared with 40% of the land in Asia. A recent Nature article suggested that organic farming yields about one-third less food than conventional techniques, due mostly to disease vulnerability and the lack of synthetic fertilizers.
What's the Big Idea?
By 2050, the world faces a 70% increase in global food demand so worries over genetically modified foods must be balanced against malnutrition and starvation in the world's poorest countries. While there are real concerns about genetically modified food, no scientific studies have found them unsafe to eat since their widespread use began a decade ago. GM foods are one tool in the toolkit, to be sure. Another is waste reduction: Consumers in the West throw away about a third of the food produced while in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, about a third of cultivated foods rot due to inadequate transportation and storage.
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Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.