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Science in the Cabinet: Implications for the Future of Biotech Research and Innovation | GES Colloquium (Zoom)

April 13, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Virtual Event

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Science in the Cabinet: Implications for the Future of Biotech Research and Innovation

Hear a panel discussion from 3 experts on the future of biotechnology policy under the Biden administration. Organized by AgBioFEWS Cohorts.



(See bios below)

  • Robert Cook-Deegan, PhD, Professor School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University
  • Jennifer Kuzma, PhD, Goodnight-NC GSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center
  • Dave Levitan, MA, Science Journalist and author of Not A Scientist: How politicians mistake, misrepresent, and utterly mangle science


For the first time ever, a genetic engineer, Eric Lander, is in a seat on the president’s cabinet—with social scientist Alondra Nelson as his deputy. The “evolutionary ringmaster” and Nobel prizewinner Frances Arnold chairs the council of science advisors—with NASA planetary explorer Maria Zuber as her co-chair. The Biden administration has proposed giving the NSF an additional $50 billion (over an annual budget of $8.5 billion), while it joins a bipartisan group of legislators in pressing scientific agencies for more emphasis on technology and jobs. What does it all mean for the future of research, biotech regulation, and their place in society? How will these people acting as individuals shape science policy? Ask our expert panel!

We have an amazing lineup of three speakers including:

Robert Cook-Deegan_200x200Dr. Robert Cook-Deegan is a professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and with the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University. He founded and directed Duke’s Center for Genome Ethics, Law & Policy (2002-2012), and Duke-in-Washington through June 2016. Prior to Duke, he was with the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (1991-2002); National Center for Human Genome Research (1989-1990); and congressional Office of Technology Assessment (1982-1988). His research interests include science policy, health policy, biomedical research, cancer, and intellectual property. He is the author of  The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome and more than 300 other publications. (website)
Kuzma-Jennifer-200x200Dr. Jennifer Kuzma is the Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences and co-founder and co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center, at NC State University where she’s been since 2013. Prior to this, she was associate professor of science and technology policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota (2003-2013) where she served as chair of the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Area and co-lead several interdisciplinary programs such as a graduate minor in Risk Analysis for Introduced Species and Genotypes and the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. From 1998 to 2003, she was study director for several U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) reports related to biotechnology and bioterrorism; and in 1997-1998 was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Risk Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she participated in several farm-to-fork risk analyses for foodborne pathogens. She has over 125 scholarly publications on emerging technologies, social science, and governance and has been studying this area for over 25 years. (full bio)
David Levitan_200x200Dave Levitan is a journalist, focusing on a variety of scientific topics, and especially their intersection with policy and politics. He has written for a wide variety of outlets, and is the author of a book Not A Scientist: How politicians mistake, misrepresent, and utterly mangle science (2017, WW Norton). Dave writes an occasional newsletter called Gravity Is Gone where he covers climate change, vaccines and other public health issues, energy and the environment, government (de)regulation, science-adjacent culture, and anything else that comes up. (website)


April 13, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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