Science for Progress

because science is fundamental in the 21st century

44 Green Biotechnology – with David Spencer

Dennis’s guest for this episode is David Spencer, a researcher in plant physiology and phytopathology in Germany. In his Ph.D., David uses genetic engineering to fortify soybeans against fungal infection. They explain why we need more resilient crops fast, why this would be great for the environment, and how genetic engineering can help achieve this.

The episode complements the previous one (extended throwback with Hélène Pidon) which focused on explaining different breeding methods and how artificially induced mutations compare to naturally occurring ones.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

SfProcur curator April 9 – 14: Pilar Vesga – @CaterPilarVesga

Pilar Vesga, MSc, is a PhD candidate in the plant pathology group at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, where she studies how some bacteria could be used to combat harmful insects and plant diseases. Her work helps lay the groundwork for better pest management, which could eventually help solve the world’s food crisis.

In her week at @SfProcur, Pilar will discuss biological pest control, the food crisis, the role GMOs can play in solving it, and what the alternatives are. As a microbiologist and general bacteria enthusiast, she will also share some of her favorite curious microbes.

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about Susan Leemburg

Susan received her PhD in neuroscience in 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher until 2017 and is currently looking for the next adventure.

14 B&D: Journals, SciComm, and GMOs

Once a month I sit down with my friend and co-host Bart Geurten. We talk about things within and around academia, and exchange opinions on earlier episodes.

In this episode, we first talk about the concept of overlay journals in the context of the newly founded community based journal “Neurons, Behavior, Data Analysis, and Theory”. NBDT is a journal for computational neuroscience, and it’s community lead, completely free, open, and not for profit.

We then talk about the role researchers should play in the dissemination of science to the public. This discussion has been on the internet for a while. In one of her recent youtube videos, the German science communicator Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim picked it up. She says, scientists should be forced to write summaries for a lay readership for every one of their articles.

And in the main section we revisit my interview with Hélène Pidon on GMOs. We talk about the fears we think are behind the anti-GMO sentiments, and why the verdict of the EU court on gene modification was unscientific.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

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