May Pub Talk

Science Pub: “Debate on the Ethics of Genome Editing in Livestock”
May 10th, 2022 | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Sip your favorite brew, while you learn a thing or two! Science Pub is an opportunity to enjoy learning about science in an informal atmosphere; no scientific background necessary! Just bring your curiosity and a thirst to learn.

There are 2 ways to be at this event:

  1. In Person – Paradise Creek Brewery will be seating indoors at 100% capacity and the pub talk will be broadcast/projected on a the large projection screen in the pub/restaurant area.
  2. On Zoom – Register for the Zoom Talk HERE. Place a food/drink order for pick up at Paradise Creek Brewery’s Downtown Restaurant – 245 SE Paradise St, Pullman. Local delivery is also available. Mention Science Pub and you’ll be sent a link by text or email to join the event. Tip: Place your order early so it’s ready by Science Pub time.

See the Facebook event here

This month’s speakers:

Join Alison Van Eenennaam, Brenda Murdoch, Jason Winfree, Patricia Glazebrook, W.Jay Gordon, Amber Adams-Progar, and Jill McCluskey on May 10th for their pub talk, “Debate on the Ethics of Genome Editing in Livestock”.

Opposition to foods made from new technology, especially genetic engineering, has been increasing over time. Recent advances in genome-editing are widely acknowledged to have tremendous potential for beneficial results, but research is needed to understand the accompanying potential scientific, ethical, regulatory, and social consequences. Since genome editing is a relatively new phenomenon, there is an opportunity to study how social interactions affect consumer acceptance. Consumers obtain information about new technology in many ways, including personal interactions, social media, and traditional media. The presenters project examines how the delivery of this information through various forms of media affects consumer acceptance of genome editing. In their talk/debate, they will address genome-edited hornless livestock and animal welfare. They will explain how they use text-mining algorithms on major social and traditional news media websites to understand these websites impact on public sentiment about genome editing and animal welfare. This public-engagement event aims to facilitate communication between scientists, producers, ethicists, and the public about the use of genome editing for hornless cattle.

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is a Professor of Cooperative Extension in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis.  She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both an MS in Animal Science, and a PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. Her publicly-funded research and outreach program focuses on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems. Her current research projects include the development of genome editing approaches for cattle. She has given over 700 invited presentations to audiences globally, and uses a variety of media to inform general public audiences about science and technology. A passionate advocate of science, Dr. Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology 2014 Borlaug Communication Award and the American Society of Animal Science 2019 Rockefeller Prentice Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics. Twitter: @BioBeef.

Dr. Brenda Murdoch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal, Veterinary and Food Science at the University of Idaho. Murdoch’s research focuses on characterizing the relationship between genetic variation in mammals and traits which are valued and important to society. She exploits a number of molecular and genetic tools to further improve our understanding of how these variations affect biological processes of both undesirable and desirable phenotypic traits. She holds a Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Alberta.

Dr. Patricia Glazebrook is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at Washington State University. She publishes on gender, agriculture, food security, and climate change in Africa, philosophy of science and technology, and military ethics. Her current research addresses climate impacts and adaptations by women subsistence farmers in Ghana. She has incorporated Ghana Fair in the United States in partnership with the Single Mothers’ Association of the Upper East Region in Ghana to provide livelihood diversification and alternative income, and to support microcredit financing for women in the Region.

Dr. Jason Winfree is Associate Professor in the Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology department at the University of Idaho. His research interests include the economics of market structures, industrial organization, collective reputation, food quality standards, and sports economics.

Dr. Jill J. McCluskey is Regents Professor and Director of the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University. McCluskey’s research focuses on product quality and reputation, sustainable labeling, consumer preferences for new technology, and representation of women in STEM. An award-winning researcher, she is widely published and cited. Her research has been funded by private foundations, NSF, and USDA. An award-winning mentor, she has served as major professor to 46 Ph.D. graduates, many of whom are Professors at major research universities. She is a member of the Board on Agricultural and Natural Resources of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She is an Editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, past President and Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Fellow of the Western Agricultural Economics Association, and a member of the WA State Academies of Sciences. Her research has been highlighted by various media outlets including the New York Times, National Public Radio, and Newsday. She received her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

W. Jay Gordon has represented and supported dairy farmers as a lobbyist for the Washington State Dairy Federation (WSDF) since 2001. He served as the Executive Director for 14 years and is currently the Policy Director of the Federation. The WSDF has represented dairy families in Washington on policy and regulatory issues since 1892, making it the oldest active dairy producer trade association in the United States. Washington is home to 410 dairy farmers who employ about 400 people and produce more than $1 billion in dairy products. Jay routinely works with state agencies, national dairy organizations, local livestock and shellfish growers to promote the dairy industry while working to provide solutions for environmental and health issues such as nutrient management regulation, air and water regulation and animal identification. He is a member of the board of the Washington Agriculture Legal Foundation, which protects the legal rights of those involved in agriculture and aquaculture, and is on the advisory board for the William D. Ruckelshaus Center, which serves as a neutral resource to solve complex policy challenges for parties in Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

Jay is a steward of the land and understands that in some cases, farmland and ecosystem protection go hand-in-hand. With funding from the American Farmland Trust, the Trumpeter Swan Society, Capitol Land Trust, and the National Parks Foundation for an easement protecting farmland along the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula, Jay demonstrated that grazing cows on this land improved the habitat for swans. Jay and his wife Susan own a seventh generation, 900-acre dairy and crop farm in the Chehalis valley near Elma. Over the years, they have produced a wide variety of vegetables, grains, and forages, as well as milk. They have four daughters.

Amber Adams Progar is an Associate Professor and Dairy Management Extension Specialist in Animal Sciences at Washington State University. She grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, a Master’s in Zoology at Oklahoma State University, and a PhD in Animal Science at Texas A&M University. She spent the past 15 years researching animal behavior and well-being, and is an enthusiastic collaborator with dairy industry partners. Her applied research program uses animal behavior and non-invasive measurements of stress in cattle to promote management practices that support animal well-being. She also combines her teaching skills and passion for farming to translate research results into meaningful information for farmers.