16) Colloquium on demystifying crop biotechnology for the Asian media (22 June 2011)

Hyderabad, India 22 June 2011 Scientists and world leaders believe that crop biotechnology holds the key to food security and poverty reduction in the developing world. Yet, public misunderstanding about biotechnology due to lack of science-based information poses a big challenge in harnessing its full potential.

Understanding and enhancing the role of the media in communicating crop biotechnology will be the focus of a media colloquium on Demystifying Crop Biotechnology: Issues and Concepts for the Asian Media. To be held on 27 June 2011 at the Taj Krishna Hotel, Hyderabad and ICRISAT-Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, the event will be part of the 20th annual conference of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) on 24-27 June 2011.

The colloquium is jointly organized by AMIC, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the Department of Biotechnology-Government of India (DBT-GOI), and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).

Being the primary source of scientific information, the media plays a crucial role in communicating crop biotechnology. This role should be optimally harnessed to inform, educate and mobilize the public as an enlightened user of crop biotechnology products and decision makers to come up with supportive policies.

“Armed with information on the tremendous opportunities offered by crop biotechnology in enhancing food security, agricultural production and yield,  reducing poverty, improving livelihoods and promoting a nation’s growth, the media will help consumers better understand and support agri-biotechnology,” says ICRISAT Director General William Dar.

Biotechnology and communication experts will participate in the colloquium to share contemporary challenges, issues and concerns related to crop biotechnology, as well enhance the appreciation and understanding of media practitioners and researchers on the subject. The first part of the colloquium will be held in the morning of 27 June at the Taj Krishna Hotel while the second part will be in the afternoon at the Platform for Translational Research for Transgenic Crops (PTTC) in ICRISAT Patancheru.

In the first part of the colloquium, Dr Clive James, ISAAA Chair and renowned biotechnology expert, will speak on the topic: Global State of Crop Biotechnology. Dr William Dar, ICRISAT Director General will deliver the inaugural address while Prof Ang Peng Hwa, Chairman of AMIC and Mr SR Rao, Advisor to DBT-GOI will deliver special addresses. The second part will be devoted to a tour of PTTC at the ICRISAT campus and a dialogue with the media.

An apex media event in Asia, AMIC’s annual conference draws over 300 delegates across the globe yearly, including media scholars, communication practitioners, media industry professionals, policy-makers, researchers and academicians.  In celebration of its 40thanniversary, its annual conference will be held for the first time in Hyderabad, India with the theme “Taking Stock of Media and Communication Studies: The Challenges and Opportunities of Globalization, New Media and the Rise of Asia.”

AMIC is a non-profit organization based in Singapore with the mission to spearhead the development of media and communication expertise in Asia within the broad framework of economic, social and cultural development.


For media enquiries, contact: Showkat Nabi Rather, Senior Media Officer, +91 40 3071 3187, R(dot)Showkat(at)cgiar(dot)org.
or Cristina P Bejosano, Head, Science Writing and Media Relations, Tel: +91 40 30713236, C(dot)Bejosano(at)cgiar(dot)org
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