Kate Crowley, Biology & Educational Studies

Cultivating trust in GMO science

Most scientists believe GMOs are safe for human consumption, but a majority of the American public remains unconvinced. This lack of trust stems from scientists’ outdated approach to science communication. Instead of seeing the public as empty vessels waiting to be filled with scientific knowledge, the scientific community must recognize that many strongly held beliefs about science issues are socially situated. Only through genuine attempts at participatory, two-way conversations with the public can the scientific community come to understand how public values influence GMO acceptance. While this process is potentially intimidating for scientists due to the controversial nature of the topic, it is vital for ensuring GMOs will be available as a tool to address the needs of a growing global population and a changing climate.