Panel Discussion

Science Breakfast by invitation only: "How Can Science Drive Solutions That Better Use the Planet’s Resources?" Upon invitation of Mars, Incorporated


Abstract

Society is faced with a broad range of complex and interrelated resource issues, from climate change to nutrition security. At the Mars, Incorporated Science Breakfast, Adam Smith (Editorial Director of Nobel Media) will moderate a panel discussion focusing on the role of science and innovation in the improved management of our global resources. The panel will feature the views of Steven Chu (Physics Nobel Laureate and Former US Secretary of Energy) and Howard-Yana Shapiro (Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars, Incorporated and Senior Fellow in Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis), as well as a selected young researcher.

Professor Steven Chu was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for his work on the development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. He served as US Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013 and during this time launched several initiatives with the aim of fostering the development of high-risk, high-reward technologies. Prof. Chu also helped identify and recruit a dozen leading scientists and engineers to the Department of Energy to work toward a sustainable energy future. Taken together, his efforts helped double the deployment of renewable energy in the United States.

Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro has more than 35 years experience working with sustainable agricultural and agroforestry systems, plant systems, plant genetics, and food production systems across the world. In his role as Chief Agricultural Officer at Mars, Incorporated, Dr. Shapiro is responsible for the plant science of the company's primary agricultural products, as well as the investigation of potential new plant-based solutions. Dr. Shapiro directed Mars’ global cacao genome sequencing work, which was conducted in conjunction with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and IBM, and culminated in the release of the cacao genome into the public domain in 2010. Dr. Shapiro now leads Mars involvement in the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC), a cross-sector collaboration to sequence, assemble and annotate the genomes of 100 traditional African food crops to improve their nutritional value, productivity and climatic adaptability.

The discussion will bring together the panel's expertise, as well as the perspectives of the young researchers present, to explore the importance of science and technology in improving the management of our global resources. This will include a discussion of the need for new, multidisciplinary approaches that combine science, environmental considerations and economic factors. It will explore the importance of collaboration between science, government and industry in bringing about a shift in our approach to resource management, and will highlight the actions currently being taken and the steps required to address global food needs while developing productive, stable and equitable farming systems.

The Mars, Incorporated Science Breakfast will bring together the views of Laureates, industry scientists and young researchers - both on the panel and in the audience - to trigger robust discussion on the role of science and scientists in managing our global resources.


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