Videos spotlight university ‘pioneers’ in GMO plant research

A new oral history series on the contributions of pioneering plant genetics researchers includes online video interviews with two professors who have strong ties to Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis: Glenn Stone and Mary-Dell Chilton.

Unveiled recently by the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., the ongoing  Archive of Agricultural Genetic Engineering and Society (AAGES) video series offers in-depth interviews with more than a dozen research “pioneers who played pivotal roles in the inception of modern agricultural genetic engineering.”

Stone, professor of anthropology, is an expert on the ecological, political and cultural aspects of agriculture. He was one of the first social scientists to study genetically engineered crops in developing countries and has written extensively on India and the Philippines. He was interviewed during a sabbatical leave supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Chilton led a collaborative study that produced the first transgenic plants while a member of the biology faculty at Washington University in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This groundbreaking research, which was the basis for the significant contributions plant biotechnology has made to agriculture today, earned her the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Sciences for 2002. She is now a distinguished science fellow at Syngenta.

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