Feeding the World
By the year 2050 a projected 9 billion people will inhabit the planet. With no increase in arable land, and with harsher growing conditions expected, some experts predict the world food supply cannot sustain this population.
Will these predictions prove accurate? Can advances in science and technology avert disaster? This conference, marking the International Year of Chemistry, addressed these crucial questions.
Opening and keynote addresses were given by Calestous Juma, Harvard Kennedy School and author of The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, and Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, respectively.
Panels were moderated by Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times.
Panelists included Prabhu Pingali, Deputy Director, Agricultural Development, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gary Toenniessen, Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation; Jay J. Vroom, President and CEO, CropLife America; Nina Fedoroff, Professor, Penn State University, and President, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Antonio Galindez, President and CEO, Dow AgroSciences; Rik L. Miller, President, DuPont Crop Protection; and Paul Rea, Vice President of Business Development, BASF Crop Protection USA.
Nina Fedoroff is an Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, a member of the external faculty of the Santa Fe Institute, and distinguished visiting professor of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. She has served on the faculties of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, and Penn State, where she was the director of the Biotechnology Institute and founding director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. She is also president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Fedoroff has published 2 books and more than 140 papers in scientific journals. She is a member of several academies, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among her awards is a 2006 National Medal of Science, the highest honor awarded to U.S. scientists. Fedoroff served as the science and technology adviser to the secretary of state and to the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development from 2007 to 2010.
Fedoroff received a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Rockefeller University.
Antonio Galindez is president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences. Galindez joined The Dow Chemical Company as a field sales representative for agricultural products in Spain. Over the course of his career he has held numerous leadership roles in both Dow and Dow AgroSciences. In 2002 Galindez became vice president for Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific, a position he held until being named vice president of Crops Business in 2006.
Galindez is a member of the board of CropLife International, a global network that represents the plant-science industry. He serves as a board member for the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and also is a board member for BioCrossroads, a public and private collaboration that supports central Indiana’s life sciences research while encouraging new business development.
Galindez received an agriculture engineering degree from Madrid University in Spain and an M.S. from North Carolina State University.
Calestous Juma is professor of the practice of international development at the Harvard Kennedy School and director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project. He directs the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and serves as faculty chair of the Innovation for Economic Development executive program. Juma is a former executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and founding director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi.
He was chancellor of the University of Guyana and has been elected to several scientific academies, including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, and the African Academy of Sciences. He has won several international awards for his work on sustainable development. Juma serves on the boards of several international bodies and is editor of the International Journal of Technology and Globalisation and International Journal of Biotechnology.
His latest book, The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. He teaches the graduate courses "Innovation, Development and Globalization" and "Technology and Sustainability" and an undergraduate seminar, "Biotechnology, Sustainability and Public Policy." He is currently working on green innovation strategies for emerging nations. He holds a doctorate in science and technology policy studies and has written widely on science, technology, and the environment.
Rik L. Miller
Rik L. Miller is president of DuPont’s Crop Protection division. He began his career in 1984 in crop protection sales. In 2005 he was named global business leader for DuPont Crop Protection’s diversified specialty, vegetation management, forestry, and railroad segments. One year later he joined the DuPont Crop Protection leadership team as global marketing director. In 2010 Miller became regional director for Crop Protection in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was named to his current position in February 2011. He serves on CropLife International’s Crop Protection Strategy Council and is actively involved in Future Farmers of America.
Miller studied at Montana State University and received his B.S. in agronomy with an emphasis on plant and soil science and plant biochemistry.
Prabhu Pingali is the deputy director of the Agriculture Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was formerly the director of the Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Pingali was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as a foreign associate in May 2007 and was elected fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association in 2006. Pingali was the president of the International Association of Agricultural Economists from 2003 to 2006.
Pingali has over 25 years of experience in assessing the extent and impact of technical change in developing country agriculture in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Food Research Institute and an affiliate professor at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. Pingali has authored 10 books and over 100 referred journal articles and book chapters on technological change, productivity growth, and resource-management issues around the world. He has received several international awards for his work, including two from the American Agricultural Economics Association: the Quality of Research Discovery Award in 1988 and Outstanding Journal Article of the Year (Honorable Mention) in 1995.
An Indian national, he earned a Ph.D. in economics from North Carolina State University in 1982.
Paul Rea is vice president of the U.S. Crop Protection unit of BASF, the world’s largest chemical company. BASF’s crop business offers a lineup of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides that work to enhance crop yield and ward off disease and pests. Rea leads the strategic direction for the Crop Protection unit, serving growers in all major crop segments with innovative and sustainable crop solutions. Prior to this appointment Rea served as Director of BASF Specialty Products business within BASF North America Crop Protection. In this role Rea led the 2008 acquisition of Whitmire Micro-Gen to form BASF Pest Control Solutions.
Rea has been with BASF since 2001, when he joined as a national sales manager. He received an M.B.A from the University of Sydney’s Graduate School of Management.
Andrew C. Revkin
Andrew C. Revkin has reported on the science and politics of global warming for more than 20 years, from the North Pole to the White House and the tumultuous treaty talks in Copenhagen. After 15 years at The New York Times, Revkin recently left his staff position to become the senior fellow for environmental understanding at Pace University's Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. Building on a quarter century of prize-winning print work, he now writes the Dot Earth blog for the op-ed pages of The New York Times, creating an online forum where hundreds of thousands of readers meet each month to evaluate and discuss climate, biodiversity, population, and related subjects.
Revkin is the author of three books on environmental subjects in addition to countless newspaper and magazine articles. He has received journalism awards from numerous organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Columbia University and has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Pace University and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.
Matt Ridley is a bestselling author. His books have sold over 800,000 copies, been translated into 27 languages, and been short-listed for 6 literary prizes. In 2004 he won the National Academies Book Award from the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine for his book Nature via Nurture. In 2007 he won the Davis Prize from the U.S. History of Science Society for the book Francis Crick. At the TEDGlobal 2010 conference, Ridley showed how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. Ridley holds that it is not important how clever individuals are, but rather how smart the collective brain is.
Gary Toenniessen is managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation. Toenniessen joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 1971, where he leads the strategic direction for the foundation’s initiatives in agricultural development. He has also served as the assistant director for the Natural and Environmental Sciences division; assistant director, associate director, and deputy director for Agricultural Sciences; and director of Food Security. In 2006 he served as founding president (on an interim basis) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a joint project of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Toenniessen has written and edited numerous papers and books on biotechnology, agriculture, and international food issues, many co-authored with other Rockefeller Foundation officers. He continues to develop ideas and theories on how the world’s growing population could and should be fed and how agricultural development could be a more effective engine for economic growth.
He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Adolph E. Gude Jr. Award of the American Society of Plant Biology. Mr. Toenniessen has a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jay Vroom is president and CEO of CropLife America, the largest national trade organization representing developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of agricultural pesticides across the U.S. He has held this position since 1989.
Prior to CropLife America, Vroom served as executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Fertilizer Solutions Association (now the Agricultural Retailers Association), a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of retailers on legislative and regulatory issues. He has also served as chief executive of the Merchants Exchange of St. Louis, which provides the Mississippi River maritime and harbor communities with valuable port information and services, and he began his professional career on the staff of the Fertilizer Institute. Vroom has testified numerous times before U.S. congressional and regulatory bodies and he represents the U.S. plant science solution industry internationally.
Vroom holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Illinois. Raised on an Illinois farm, he continues to have an active business interest in his family business.
This event is made possible with generous support from the following:
This event is part of CHF’s year-long celebration of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011), a United Nations–designated initiative celebrating chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind.