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Checkbiotech: MSU announces initiative in agricultural biotechnology education
Posted by: DR. RAUPP & madora (IP Logged)
Date: September 09, 2004 08:25PM ;

A team of prominent international scientists led by a Mississippi State
research administrator is helping guide production of a documentary series
examining U.S. and international progress in agricultural biotechnology,
September 2004 by Maridith Geuder .

Tentatively titled ?Biotechnology and Agriculture: Delivering on the
Promise,? the five-part video series is planned for distribution primarily
to American high school and university students, said H. Alan Wood, director
of the university ?s Life Sciences and Biotechnology Institute. He also is
leading fund-raising efforts to cover the production costs.

?Teachers have expressed a need for credible, balanced educational materials
that examine agricultural biotechnology and the applications of the science
to food production and human health,? Wood said.

?This documentary series and accompanying printed materials will
significantly enhance biotech education in our schools and assist students
in understanding the benefits of the science and the issues being debated,?
he added.

The 10-person advisory committee includes Norman Borlaug, a 1970 Nobel Peace
Prize Laureate, father of the ?green revolution? and founder of the
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico.

Endorsing the concept of the series, Bourlag said ?I am a hundred percent in
agreement with producing a creative, stimulatory set of videotapes for
students at high school and college level, to give them an insight into what
modern biotechnology can do to improve the stability and productivity of our
food production systems.?

Wood said the project already has received some $70,000 in challenge grants
toward a projected total production cost of approximately $875,000.

Other committee members include Charles Arntzen, director of the Arizona
Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University; Roger Beachy, president of
the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Mo.; Claude Fauquet,
director of the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural
Biotechnology, also in St. Louis; Ernest Jaworski, retired biological
sciences director at the Monsanto Co.; and Steven Pueppke, associate
research dean at the University of Illinois? College of Agricultural,
Consumer and Environmental Science.

Others include Peter Raven, director of St. Louis? Missouri Botanical
Garden; Eugene Sander, vice provost and dean of the University of Arizona?s
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and, Florence Wambugu, chief
executive officer of Kenya-based Africa Harvest Biotechnology International.

Wood said the videos will be shot on location throughout the world. ?This is
an important opportunity for organizations interested in biotechnology
education to receive sponsorship credit with Mississippi State for this new
documentary series,? he observed.

Both the videos and the collateral materials will be produced and written by
Karen Keeler Rogers, president of KKR & Co. of Northbrook, Ill. Rogers, a
specialist in biotechnology education, has produced numerous films, videos
and print materials on the subject that have been incorporated into school
curricula throughout the U.S.

For more information on the project,

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