Food: Strategies for Growing Enough for Everyone

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The 2012 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science.
Picture of audience for one of the 2007 Frontiers lectures

"Food: Strategies for Growing Enough for Everyone" is the theme of the 2012 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, which will take place in January and February 2012. This series of six public lectures on consecutive Saturday mornings is designed as a free minicourse for the general public. The lectures will take place from 11:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus, beginning on 21 January 2012.

This event featured lectures given by Penn State research leaders whose labs are expanding the frontiers of scientific knowledge about infectious disease. The six lectures in the 2012 series include:


Nina FedoroffWhere Will the Food Come From in a Hotter, More Crowded World?

Nina V. Fedoroff, Penn State

21 January 2012
11:00 a.m.

The climate is warming. Water tables are falling everywhere. Biodiversity is under pressure. There is not enough farm land. And yet today's human population of 7 billion will race past 9 billion by 2050. Can we increase the food supply and still shrink the ecological footprint of agriculture?


Christina GrozingerThe Global Pollinator Crisis

Christina Grozinger, Penn State

28 January 2012
11:00 a.m.

Seventy percent of our agricultural crops — particularly micronutrient-rich fruit, vegetable, and nut crops — require the help of animal pollinators like bees in order to produce seed and fruit. However, pollinator populations have been in decline worldwide. What are the causes and consequences of this decline, and what can we do about it?


Marilyn RoossinckThe Good Bugs: Why Agriculture Needs Microbes

Marilyn Roossinck, Penn State

4 February 2012
11:00 a.m.

Modern agriculture does its best to rid food crops of viruses, bacteria, and fungi, but wild plants thrive while they are full of these "bugs." Hear a Penn State scientist describe what she is discovering about how microbes — including viruses — benefit their host plants. Learn how her research is revealing ways that microbes can make agriculture more sustainable.

David HughesNovel Solutions to Complex Diseases for Subsistence Agriculture

David Hughes, Penn State

11 February 2012
11:00 a.m.

Human trade and migration have homogenized the world such that every pest is everywhere — bringing together organisms that normally would not meet and leading to catastrophic problems for agriculture. Learn how pests and disease cripple poor subsistence farmers, how global trade compounds this problem, and how agricultural universities such as Penn State contain the solutions.


Bruce McPheronFeeding the Future: From the Lab Bench to the Dinner Table

Bruce McPheron, Penn State

18 February 2012
11:00 a.m.

Which creative research experiments today might most quickly boost food production on our stressed planet? Hear an insider's insights from the Dean of the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences about research projects with food crops and farm animals that could change the world.


Jonathan LynchRoots of the Second Green Revolution

Jonathan Lynch, Penn State

25 February 2012
11:00 a.m.

One billion are hungry in the third world, where crop yields are low because of drought and low soil fertility. In rich nations, intensive use of irrigation and fertilizers is causing environmental havoc. Can we develop new crops with better root systems that would boost yields in poor nations while reducing environmental damage in rich nations?


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