What are you an expert in?

Have you ever read an article, attended a panel discussion, or watched a tv show and thought: “I really wish they’d featured an expert” ?
I can’t say if it’s intentional or unintentional, but there definitely seem to be many cases where a panel discussing aspects of agriculture consists of representatives from EWG, UCS, CFS, etc and there might, if we are really lucky, be one person who has some understanding of the science.
One example is of this is an episode of the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC that was about agricultural genetic engineering. Her producers rounded up a celebrity chef, Marion Nestle (known for her dislike of biotech among other things), and Ricardo Salvador of the UCS, which has a stated anti biotech platform. Their pro-science representative  was Ramez Naam, a computer scientist and author. Now, Ramez is great, but why didn’t they choose a crop scientist with expertise in biotechnology, an agricultural economist with expertise in consumer preference and labeling, a farmer that uses biotechnology… ?
What if they wanted to find other experts but just didn’t know who to ask? Let’s make it easier for all of those journalists and panel discussion organizers out there to find us.
Fill out the Biotech Experts Form with your information. Encourage your friends and colleagues to share their information, too. Finally, tell people about Biology Fortified’s newest resource* so everyone can be better informed!
*For now, the responses are displayed in a Google Doc, but as we accumulate a good sized list, we will publish the results to a new page on Biofortified: Biotech Experts.

Anastasia Bodnar

Written by Anastasia Bodnar

Anastasia Bodnar serves as the Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc. She is a science communicator and multidisciplinary risk analyst with a career in federal service. She has a PhD in plant genetics and sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University.

3 comments

  1. I understand that fast turn around is important in journalism, but why bother having a show when it’s going to be so biased? Journalists at least used to do that false balance thing where they tried to have both sides represented – it seems that they don’t even bother with that now.
    So how do we make this better? We only have a few signers so far for this project so I can’t start promoting it to journalists yet. Do you think this is potentially an effective solution? What else can we do?

  2. It is really important that science be able to counter the press’s fear and misunderstanding of science versus the glib fabrications of people like Jeffrey Smith. As a chemistry PhD and food/science writer, I am not sure I qualify as an expert, but I am willing to help in any way I can. Finding people with the time beyond the usual suspects is the hard part.

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