April 2016: Genes, Germs & GMOs

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
1:30 – 5:30 PM
Boston University
Hillel Building (second floor)
213 Bay State Rd, Boston, MA

Genes, Germs & GMOs: Has the power of social media disrupted scientific understanding?

Armed with just internet connections, social-media accounts and passionate beliefs, millions of ordinary people now shape the debate on such complex-and-controversial scientific questions as personal genetic testing, genetically modified foods (GMOs) and antibiotic treatments. This social-media activism not only can distort public understanding of these critical issues but it can disrupt governmental support and regulations.

Come hear distinguished experts discuss such questions as: How has social media empowered its users? To what extent has the public’s engagement affected the quality of scientific debate? Have the policy outcomes improved? Speakers include Piper Below (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston), Kevin Folta (University of Florida), Tim Caulfield, (University of Alberta), and Annie Waldherr (Freie Universitat Berlin).

Reception to follow

Hosted by the Division of Emerging Media Studies

Sponsored by Boston University’s College of Communication and co-sponsored by The Office of the Vice President & Associate Provost for Research, Questrom School of Business, and School of Law.

Genes, Germs & GMOs: Has the power of social media disrupted scientific understanding

April 20, 2016

A Boston University conference at 213 Bay State Rd, Boston, MA (Hillel Building, Room 227)

Tentative Schedule

 Proposed Schedule

1:00-1:25 Coffee and registration

1:32 Dean’s welcome, Dean Tom Fiedler, College of Communication

1:35 Framing statement, James E. Katz, Feld Family Prof. of Emerging Media, Director, Emerging Media Studies Div., College of Communication

1:40 Juliet Floyd, Philosophy, Boston University

1:50 GMOs (Chaired by Jim Cummings)
Kevin Folta, Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida
Annie Waldherr, Communication Theory and Media Effects Div., Freie Universität Berlin
Discussion with audience

2:35 Germs (Chaired by Denis Wu)
Jacob Groshek, Emerging Media Studies Div, School of Communication
Dylan Walker, Questrom School of Business
Kevin Outterson, School of Law, Boston University
Discussion with audience

3:15 Coffee break

3:30 Genes (Chaired by Lei Guo)
Jennifer “Piper” Below, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Tim Caulfield, Health Law Institute, University of Alberta
Discussion with audience

4:30 Framing social media and scientific information (Chaired by Mina Tsay-Vogel)
Yaneer Bar-Yam, New England Complex Systems Institute “Can we respond to global vulnerabilities using distributed decision making through social media”

5:10 Audience Q&A / Wrap up by Katz

5:30-6:00 Reception and informal discussion