Cami Ryan on being a social scientist in the Ag industry | GES Colloquium
November 12, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST
Spanning Boundaries in Food, Technology, and Society: the tale of a social scientist in the ag industry
Speaker: Cami Ryan, Ph.D., Social Sciences Lead, Regulatory Scientific Affairs, Bayer CropScience
In a world where science and discovery are moving at a rapid pace, societies are challenged to keep up. Despite living in in a time where food and food sources have never been more diverse, safe, and plentiful, the public’s trust in food and food production is waning. This raises interesting sociological questions about food and technology and how society perceives them.
We face one of the greatest challenges in all human history. We need to find ways to feed ten billion but we must do so sustainably and equitably while at the same time protecting our planet for our generation and future ones. As Dr. Jonathan Foley (California Academy of Sciences) states: “This is going to be one of the hardest things we ever have done … and we absolutely have to get it right, and we have to get it right on our first and only try.”The production and utilization of food and related technologies are key ingredients to meeting these grand challenges. As private enterprises, research institutes, governments, or as scholars, however, we no longer have the luxury of addressing these challenges in isolation. How can we collectively shape policy that meets societies’ needs while allowing them to benefit from new and innovative technologies?
This presentation explores the challenges of food, technology, and societies through the lens of a “boundary spanning” personal narrative: a social scientist working in the ag industry. Addressing grand challenges in governance requires us to cross organizational, disciplinary, conceptual, and thought boundaries by bringing together diverse stakeholders for sustainable and enduring dialogues to problem-solve. Can we rise to the challenge?
Cami Ryan, PhD, has worked in the area of agriculture for 25 years and joined legacy Monsanto’s regulatory policy and scientific affairs team in 2014 as Social Sciences Lead, the first-of-its-kind role in industry. Prior to that, Dr. Ryan was public sector researcher, conducting Genome Canada funded GE3LS research (genomics, economic, environmental, ethical, legal, social). Her research interests range from social network analysis, institutional analysis, innovation management, and knowledge flows in research networks to, most recently, the influence of online activism on public perceptions, policy and markets. She has sole-authored one book (2008) and co-authored another (2013) and has published academic articles in journals such as The International Journal of Technology and Globalization, International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Journal of Innovation Management, Industry and Innovation, and the Journal of International Law and Trade Policy.
Dr. Ryan holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies through the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan and a B. Commerce from Edwards School of Business. Cami currently is the Social Sciences Lead with Bayer Crop Science. In her position with Regulatory Scientific Affairs (RSA) she is responsible for strengthening relationships with social, behavioral, and political scientists. In this role, Dr. Ryan leverages an expanding scientific network in North America and around the world to more closely examine and understand policy, regulations, consumer behavior, and acceptance of agricultural innovations. She is currently a Professional Affiliate with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan and a member of the Scientific Industry Advisory Committee for Genome Canada. In 2017, Cami Ryan was a member of Genome Canada’s Genomics in Society Expert Panel to evaluate the efficacy and strategic direction of GC’s GE3LS research program.
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