Biodiversity, biotechnology key topics of conference

The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Law will present a conference on “Biodiversity, Biotechnology and the Protection of Traditional Knowledge” April 4-6 in Anheuser-Busch Hall.

The event will gather leading biological scientists, social scientists, legal scholars, national and international government officials, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and indigenous communities, as well as representatives from private practice and the private business sector.

Among the topics to be discussed are the problem of worldwide biodiversity loss; the impact of agricultural and plant biotechnology on biodiversity loss and the environment generally; and the emerging recognition of the need to protect traditional medicinal and agricultural knowledge through intellectual property and related contractual mechanisms as a means of combating biodiversity loss.

Featured speakers include Roger N. Beachy, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts & Sciences and president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center; Nuno Pires de Carvalho, Ph.D., head of the Genetic Resources, Biotechnology and Associated Traditional Knowledge Section of the World Intellectual Property Organization; Adrian Otten, Ph.D., director of the Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization; and Peter H. Raven, Ph.D., the Engelmann Professor of Botany in Arts & Sciences and director of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

University faculty members presenting papers at the conference include Ursula W. Goodenough, Ph.D., professor of biology; Barbara A. Schaal, Ph.D., the Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts & Sciences; Glenn D. Stone, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences; and Walter H. Lewis, Ph.D., professor emeritus in biology.

Charles R. McManis, J.D., the Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law, is the faculty coordinator for the conference and will moderate a session. Ralph S. Quatrano, Ph.D., chair of biology and the Spencer T. Olin Professor, also will serve as a session moderator.

Co-sponsors are the Whitney R. Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies, the Department of Biology, the Danforth Plant Science Center and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

For more information and a full agenda, go online to or call Linda McClain at 935-7988.