It looks like the Science Monster has finally caught up with me, so the next few weeks will be rather blogging-poor as I struggle to prepare for my committee meeting and write a number of non-blog, way-less-fun-but-more-important science things. When I return (or interspersed between conferences), you can expect blog posts about everything from mosquitoes to maize to the plant mega-conference happening two days from now (poster status: almost ready).
“But I want to procrastinate NOW!”, you may say. Fair enough: let me lead you to other places you can procrastinate while I try to do some actual science.
I’ve actually spent a lot of the past week reading up on this Rothamsted (hopefully) aphid-resistant wheat trial that I wrote about last week, and on GMOs in general. Fortunately, the wheat at Rothamsted is still safe, following extensive outreach by the scientists involved in the trial, a twitter storm, a counter-protest, and extensive police presence. I was really interested to read a few blog posts/articles about the protest itself, and I’d like to share these with anyone else who’s curious about how stuff went down:
A post from Jules, a grad student at Rothamsted who participated in the counter-protest in support of the wheat trial (I also really enjoyed her original post about the trial itself)
A post from Rebecca, who received her PhD working at Rothamsted and was also at the counter-protest.
(The above posts are great because both authors have some interesting things to say about conversations they had at the protest.)
Another good read is this blog post from Tom – I disagree with some parts, but that only makes things more interesting. Tom apparently had participated a while back in drafting some of the science policies of the Green Party (UK), which (somewhat controversially) recently decided to support the anti-GM protesters.
Finally, I want to point out this editorial in The Guardian, which is music to the ears of anyone who thinks science communication is worthwhile. Sadly, I have a feeling that it overstates the role of outreach in protecting GM plants during a protest at which police outnumbered protesters. But it’s still pretty inspiring stuff.
Happy reading, and I hope to be back soon!