Genetic modification is one of the crowning achievements of human endeavour. Ever since we first started to domesticate the plants and animals around us we have been deliberately altering their genetic composition. The breeding programs which gave us our current crops and livestock have been wonderfully successful but took thousands of years to get this far, a rate of progress which is no longer sufficient. Our population has increased exponentially in the last century and if we are to keep pace we need to look to new approaches to accelerate our ability to genetically modify the world around us. Transgenic and genome editing technologies are some of the most sophisticated and safe ways of doing this, yet they have been effectively banned in Europe. In this talk I will show you why such technologies are not only fundamentally safe but also fundamentally necessary for the continued survival of our civilisation.
Pádraic Flood is a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, where he is researching various aspects of population genetics in plants as well as continuing with his interest in photosynthesis (where light becomes life). Apart from his research into genetics and photosynthesis he is also passionate about communicating science to the public, this passion led him to win last year’s international FameLab competition. He believes that; “Science is our way of exploring the universe and scientists are the explorers, it is such a shame if scientists do not share their stories and insights with the rest of humanity, science communication is all about sharing the adventure”.
In partnership with the Embassy of Ireland
Sofia Science Festival
16 May, 12.30 | Main Stage | free