The World Science Festival, is a five day-long extravaganza of science in New York City that is coming up this year on June 2-6. The World Science Festival (now in it’s third year) is not only for adults interested in science society- it is for kids, too. That why I will bring my 9 year old daughter with me. She is clamouring for high heels to wear to the opening night gala honoring Stephen Hawking. On Sunday, the heels will come off for some fun at the Festival Street Fair, featuring Discovery Theater and Author’s Alley.
On Friday evening, I will participate in a panel called Food 2.0: Feeding a Hungry World. This is how the event is described by Molly Webster, an editorial producer at the World Science Festival:
In Food 2.0: Feeding a Hungry World, we’re facing the facts straight on: the world’s population is estimated to grow by 3 billion by 2050. But forget that: just today, at this very moment, 1.2 billion people are hungry. So yah, alright, maybe this sounds a little like a PSA. But not entirely, and our answers are different. We’re looking at this crisis through the lens of science and technology, with experts on the ground. Here’s a look at some of the topics our panelists are prepared to take on:
Science and technology drove the first agricultural Green Revolution–how are they shaping up as we face down the Second? What did we do wrong the first time? (Hello tons of pesticides.)
• What open-source genetic technologies does China have up its sleeves? (And does this mean good-bye Monsanto?)
• Can the organic movement, so popular in urban centers like New York City or Los Angeles, replace intensive agriculture? The experts are leaning toward … well, I’ll let them tell you.
• How often are, say, fish genes actually put in tomatoes?
• What’s the difference between local and sustainable, and can any of those words be used to describe what smallhold farmers are doing on-the-ground in Africa?
• What’s the use of earthworms? Or pests, for that matter.
• And, if you’re like me, talk of genetics probably spurs on thoughts of Neanderthals, BRCA1, and maybe even Francis Collins. But plants? Could genomics be as important to agriculture as it is to your health?
What can all this knowledge do for you, most-likely an un-hungry American? The non-profit Feeding America reports that they provide food to 1 in 8 Americans. This hunger crisis is an international crisis. Don’t you want to know how your food decisions are affecting, well, everyone? The goal is that you’ll walk away from this panel, like I have, understanding that many of the food debates are confused. You may find yourself leaving in support of companies, or ideas, you thought you hated. And you’ll see that “Feeding a Hungry World” might not be as dour as it sounds. But I’ll let the panelists tell you more about that.
Whether you’re able to make it to New York for the Festival or not, you can follow along and get a sneak preview of some of the events at the 2010 World Science Festival blog now on ScienceBlogs! Or check out my blogs from bangladesh.