Although nearly three decades have passed since genetically modified (GM) crops were widely commercialized, vociferous debate remains about the use of biotechnology in agriculture, despite scientific consensus on their safety. In this talk, Sarah Evanega will present an analysis of social and traditional media sentiment that reveals increasingly favorable GMO conversations from 2018 to 2020. In addition, she will share data on the role that cyborg and bot accounts are playing in shaping the conversation on social media as well as the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors have had on the GMO conversation. What can we learn from media monitoring and other studies about the most effective ways to approach conversations about the controversial topic of GMOs? In addition, she will share data collected across the same time period that examine that state of the conversation on gene editing and gene drives.
Join us for the live event on Zoom. All participants and hosts are required to sign into a Zoom account prior to joining meetings.
Sarah Evanega — Sarah Evanega received her Ph.D. in the field of plant biology from Cornell University in 2009, for which she conducted an interdisciplinary study combining work in plant molecular biology with science communication. Her dissertation focused on the controversy over genetically engineered papaya in developing countries with a specific focus on Thailand. She came to Cornell after completing a B.A. in biology at Reed College. Lured by great weather, plenty of water, and an unbeatable intellectual environment, she remained at Cornell University after completing her Ph.D. to help lead a global project to help protect the world’s wheat from wheat stem rust.
Sarah now serves as the PI and director for the Alliance for Science—a global communications effort that promotes evidence-based decision-making in agriculture. The Alliance is based at the Boyce Thompson Institute, where Sarah is a professor. In addition, she is an adjunct professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University. Sarah grew up in a small agricultural village in northwest Illinois. She enjoys life in the Finger Lakes with her husband and three young children.