Wednesday, April 29: Sustainable Biotech

Location: Carl A. Fields Center. The symposium and conference are free to attend. Register at

8:30-8:45 a.m.: Welcome: Princeton scholars Shanthu Shantharam and Lee Silver.

8:45-9:30 a.m.: Keynote Address: “Crop Biotechnology for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Protection,” Maarten Chrispeels, San Diego Center for Molecular Agriculture

9:45-11:15 a.m.: “Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: What Role Can Biotechnology Play?” Chaired by Tim Searchinger, Princeton University.

9:45-10:15 a.m.: “The Economic and Health Impacts of GM Crops in South Africa, India, and China,” Carl Pray, Rutgers;

10:15-11:35 a.m.: “The Failed Promise of Agricultural Biotechnology,” Bill Freese, Center for Food Safety;

11:35 a.m.-Noon: “GM Crops are Inherently Synergistic to Sustainable Agriculture,” Autar Mattoo, USDA;

Noon-12:25 p.m.: “Ethical Challenges to the Adoption of Technologies,” David Castle, University of Ottawa.

12:30-1:00 p.m.: Panel discussion: Sophie Meunier, Princeton University; Bill Freese; Autar Mattoo; Prabhu Pingali, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Carl Pray; Howard Shapiro, Mars Incorporated.

1-2 p.m.: “Control of Human Biosphere: Past, Present, and Future,” Lee Silver.

2 to 4 p.m.: “How to Regulate Biotechnology to Maximize Benefits and Minimize Risks?” chaired by Shanthu Shantharam.

2-2:20 p.m.: “Potential of Biotech Crops in Sustainable, Small-Scale Agriculture: A Social Science Perspective,” Melinda Smale, Oxfam America;

2:20-2:40 p.m.: “The Need for Responsible Governance in the Implementation of Agricultural Biotechnologies,” Suman Sahai, Gene Campaign, India

2:40-3 p.m.: “The Scientific Basis for Agbiotech Regulation,” Wayne Parrott, University of Athens, Georgia;

3-3:30 p.m.: “How Much Regulatory Oversight Is Really Appropriate for Agriculture Biotechnology?” Henry Miller, Stanford University

3:30-4 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Lee Silver; Sharon Bomer, Biotechnology Industry Organization; Henry Miller; Wayne Parrott; Suman Sahai; Melinda Smale.

4:15-5:20 p.m.: “Can Biotechnology Aid Agriculture to Cope with Effects of Climate Change?” Xenia Morin, Princeton.

4:15-4:35 p.m.: “African Green Revolution Moves Forward,” Pedro Sanchez, Columbia University;

4:35-5 p.m.: “Developing Drought Resistant Crops: Possibilities and Realities,” Eric Sachs, Monsanto;

5-5:20 p.m.: “Biofortification of Staple Cropsto Improve Public Health,” Howarth Bouis, IFPRI.

5:20-6 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Shanthu Shantharam; Rattan Lal, Ohio State University; Pedro Sanchez; Eric Sachs; Tim Searchinger.

6 p.m.: Closing Remarks by Shanthu Shantharam and Lee Silver.

8 p.m.: Evening debate.

Thursday, April 30: Hot , Hungry Planet

Morning, McCosh 10, afternoon, McCosh 50.

8:45-10:15 a.m.: “Understanding the Challenges of Feeding a Hot and Hungry Planet,” David Tilman, University of Minnesota; Jerry Mellilo, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory; Michael Obersteiner, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

10:30 a.m.-Noon: “How Can We Feed the Hungry While Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions?” Jonathan Foley, University of Minnesota; Prabhu Pingali, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Pedro Sanchez, Columbia.

1-1:45 p.m.: Keynote: “Thoughts from an Organic Entrepreneur,” Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm.

2-3:30 p.m.: “The Dilemma Surrounding More Livestock and Pasture,” Henning Steinfeld, Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.; Gidon Eshel, Bard University; Michael Obersteiner, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

3:45-5 p.m.: “The Quandary over Fertilizer — How Do We Feed Our Crops While Reducing Greenhouse Gas?” Timothy LaSalle, Rodale Institute; Tracy Blackmer, Iowa Soybean Association; David Castle, University of Ottawa; Jerry Mellilo.

5-5:30 p.m.: “Can We Make More Room for Forests?” Eric Lambin, University of Louvain.

8-9:30 p.m.: “Low-Input Food vs. High-Input Food,” Pedro Sanchez; Charles Benbrook, The Organic Center; Eric Sachs; Moderator: Tim Searchinger.

Friday, May 1:

Location: McCormick 101.

9-10:15 a.m.: “How Can We Get Carbon Back into the World’s Soils?” Rattan Lal, Ohio State; Cheryl Palm, Columbia; Debbie Reed, DRD Associates; Timothy LaSalle, Rodale Institute.

10:30 a.m.-Noon: “Improving Our Agricultural Policies,” Debbie Reed; Tim Searchinger.

1-2 p.m.: “What Works in the Developing World?” P.K. Joshi, TERI University; Suman Sahai, Gene Campaign; Shanthu Shantharam, Princeton University.

2-3 p.m.: Roundtable Discussion

3-3:15 p.m.: Closing Remarks.


Princeton Microfinance Organization, a student group dedicated to promoting microfinance as a grassroots, sustainable economic development strategy, will hold a daylong colloquium on Friday, May 1, at the Lewis Library on Washington Road. Panels will include 12 visiting microfinance professionals.

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