Collecting a History of Agricultural Genetic Engineering and Society
Genetic engineering is at an important crossroads. The first generation of researchers and regulators are in many cases still actively working. But the clock is ticking to capture the memories and papers of these pioneering practitioners while they are still willing and able to share. At the same time, a second and third generation of scientists, regulators, marketers, students, and advocates for and against the technology are now active and interested in that history.
In the absence of archives, observers create their own stories unhindered by fact. Gathering original words and memories is a matter of urgency. The GES Center at NC State has brought together the first generation of genetic engineering practitioners and to archive its story for posterity.
Since 2014, we have invited major figures in the scientific, regulatory and advocacy communities shaping genetic engineering to NC State for public talks. In addition to key scientists, we have also included a wide diversity of people in the genetic engineering community, including basic scientists, biotech developers, regulators, policy makers, NGO workers, social scientists, and industry leaders.
Jennifer Kuzma and Fred Gould
Co-Directors and Distinguished Professors, Genetic Engineering & Society Center, NC State University
Interview date: 5/20/2014
- Jennifer Kuzma – Roadmap to Gene Drives Workshop, 3/29/2016
- Jennifer Kuzma and Sheron King – Delphi Study, 1/14/2015 Colloquium
- Jennifer Kuzma, Laura Severin, and Mary Wyer – Diversity and Gender Issues, 2/11/2014 Colloquium
- Jennifer Kuzma, Jason Delborne, and Mark Robinson – GES Cluster Hire Faculty Intros, 10/8/2013 & 10/23 Colloquia
- Fred Gould and Jason Delborne – National Research Council Reports on Genetic Engineering , 9/6/2016 Colloquium
- Fred Gould – History of IGERT, 1/14/2014 Colloquium
- Fred Gould and students – Peru Summer Course Student Presentations, 10/23/2012 Colloquium
About: Jennifer Kuzma is the Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, and co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center, at NC State University. Prior to this, she was associate professor of science and technology policy at the University of Minnesota (2003-2013); study director at the U.S. National Academies of Science (NAS) (1999-2003); and an AAAS Risk Policy Fellow at the USDA (1997-1999). She has over 100 scholarly publications on emerging technologies and governance and has been studying this area for over 25 years. Kuzma currently serves on several national and international advisory boards, including the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Technology, Values, and Policy and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Preparing for Future Biotechnology.
Dr. Fred Gould, co-director of the Center, is a University Distinguished Professor of Entomology who has done cutting-edge research in the area of ecology and evolutionary biology. An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Gould studies the ecology and genetics of insect pests to improve food production and human and environmental health.
Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Interview date: 2/23/2015
- Understanding the Other, 3/3/2015 Colloquium
About: Ignacio Chapela is a microbial ecologist and mycologist at the University of California, Berkeley. He is best known for a 2001 paper in Nature on the flow of transgenes into wild maize populations and as an outspoken critic of the University of California’s ties to the biotechnology industry. Chapela is also notable for his work with natural resources and indigenous rights.
Scientist, Inventor, Syngenta Biotechnology
Interview date: 2/17/2016
About: Mary-Dell Chilton, a Distinguished Science Fellow at Syngenta began her corporate career in 1983 with CIBA-Geigy Corporation (a legacy company of Syngenta). Her tenure has spanned both research and administrative roles, including Vice President, Agricultural Biotechnology. Her current research is directed to improving the technology for introducing new genes into plants. Dr. Chilton is author of more than 100 scientific publications.
Biotechnology Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Interview date: 10/5/2015
- Busting the Myths of Genetically Engineered Foods* – Colloquium video unavailable, however Jaffe gave a similar presentation in October 2014 at The George Washington University
About: Gregory Jaffe is the Director of the Project on Biotechnology for CSPI. Jaffe came to CSPI after serving as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division and as Senior Counsel with the U.S. EPA, Air Enforcement Division. He is a recognized international expert on agricultural biotechnology and biosafety, and has published numerous articles and reports on those topics.
Vice President, Agricultural Biotechnology, NC Biotechnology Center
Vice President for Biotechnology Regulatory and External Affairs (Retired), DuPont Company
- Dr. Jennifer Kuzma, CoPI – Goodnight-NC GSK Foundation Distinguished Professor & Co-Director, GES Center
- Dr. Matthew Booker, CoPI – Associate Professor of History
- Eleanor Brown, CoPI – Head, Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries
- Virginia Ferris, CoPI – Outreach and Engagement Program Librarian, NCSU Libraries
- Brad Herring, CoPI – Videographer
- Dr. Fred Gould – University Distinguished Professor of Entomology & Co-Director, GES Center
- Dr. Todd Kuiken – Sr. Research Scholar, GES Center
- Nic Beery – Videographer
- Sharon Stauffer – Program Associate, GES Center
- Patti Mulligan – Communications Director, GES Center
About the Archive
- To encourage public access to the history of genetic engineering’s ideas, practice and impact by posting longer-form video interviews on a website.
- To create and preserve an archive of high-quality oral histories with key figures in the field, to be archived in North Carolina State University’s Special Collections.
The NC State Libraries Special Collections is a key partner. They will archive physical materials and have experience recording, editing and storing audio video interviews. They have a proven track record of gathering and storing historical materials for public access, including two models for our project: The Computer Simulation collection (video archive) the Lewis Clarke collection (oral history and documents archive). To expand the archive, we are actively seeking partners with an interest in our publicly-accessible archive of voices from the communities who shaped genetic engineering in agriculture.
PAST: Fall 2015 History Project Series Speakers
Eric Sachs: Monsanto (9/1/15) Download PDF
Greg Jaffe: Center for Science in the Public Interest. (10/5/15) Download PDF
Paul Thompson: Michigan State University (10/14/15) Download PDF
Pam Marrone: Marrone Bio Innovations (10/27/15) Download PDF
John Ryals: Metabolon (11/17/15) Download PDF