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With the global population expected to reach more than nine and a half billion in a little over 30 years, the sustainable production of agriculture will be increasingly on the minds of governments, industry, farmers and even many consumers.
Not only do we have to increase the amount of food available, we have to find ways to minimize its footprint on the planet. There is no activity that humankind engages in that has a bigger impact on the planet than agriculture, but there is also nothing more important. Therefore, one of the great challenges that confront all of us in the next 30 years is to figure out how to maximize the production of food while minimizing the negatives consequences of agriculture — from polluted waterways to disappearing rainforests.
Science and technology may hold the key to addressing many of the world’s biggest problems but only if scientific breakthroughs make it to fields. In a hot, flat hyper-connected world public perception of risk, not science, may ultimately determine if agriculture saves the planet by 2050 or destroys it. This presentation will examine global trends in food and agriculture, the interplay between science and public perception of risk and how scientists build trust to navigate these trends.