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Podcast: How anti-GMO activists used ‘fake news’ to attack University of Florida plant scientist Kevin Folta

kevin folta
Kevin Folta. Image: UF/IFAS
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

In this episode, [Liz Haswell and Ivan Baxter] talk to Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. Kevin’s research focuses on the functional genomics of small fruit crops, photomorphogenesis, and plant transformation.

We talk about a recent publication from the Folta lab, ”Identification of novel growth regulators in plant populations expressing random peptides” (Bao et al., Plant Physiology, 2017).

Kevin developed a passion for scientific outreach early in his career. Unfortunately, his success in scientific communication has also made him a target. In 2015, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was filed to the University of Florida by US Right to Know as part of a campaign targeting the emails of public scientists who have spoken out in favor of biotechnology.

In this emotional episode, Kevin describes the whirlwind of fake news and misinformation that ensued after the FOIA request. We talk about the spiral of silence these efforts intend to create and why it is absolutely vital to keep speaking up for science and for the scientists under attack.

Read full, original post: Taproot S2E3: Spiraling out of Silence; Speaking up for Science and Scientists with Kevin Folta

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