When science clashes with society…

Should public honour be given to scientists irrespective of the social impact of their researches? Would it have been right for Robert Oppenheimer to have been awarded a Nobel Prize for his work on the Manhattan Project?

The World Food Prize is a case in point. The 2013 World Food Prize has been awarded to three people who developed GMOs. One of them is from Monsanto, another from Syngenta. The prize recognizes work to produce RoundUp Ready crops amongst others. But there is no mention of the controversies surrounding these products or any attempt to take into account their wider environmental or social consequences.

It looks like the World Food Prize organisation has been poorly advised. At the least a more extensive analysis of the impact of GMOs should be given.

One reply on “When science clashes with society…”

A quick internet scan suggests the World Food Prize might not be entirely independent of corporate interests – no obvious information about the judging process or individuals involved apart from Des Moines businessman John Ruan; and a 2008 contribution of $5m from Monsanto.

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