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Anastasia Bodnar - Who is Frank N. Foode and what is the future of genetically modified organisms, science, and society?

Anastasia Bodnar - Who is Frank N. Foode and what is the future of genetically modified organisms, science, and society?Thoughts on Science, Food, & Future This is a conversation with Anastasia Bodnar and John Blue, setup when John contributed money to the Bring Frank N. Foode™ to Life campaign. In this chat Anastasia shares a bit about Frank N. Foode, the friendly plush corn doll; genetically modified organisms; science; society; and future. 

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This conversation focuses on science, research, and social questions around the topic of genetically modified organisms. No policy, politics, or regulation questions.

Disclosure in intro: @FrankNFoode recently closed out a KickStarter campaign to "Bring Frank N. Foode to Life!", raising $14,157. This conversation is from Truffle Media's contribution of $75 to the campaign.

Questions/conversation topics:

  • Who is Anastasia Bodnar and why is she interested in science, genetically modified organisms, and writing?
  • What is BioFortified and Biology Fortified, Inc.? Why the need to have an organization to "strengthen the public discussion of issues in biology, with particular emphasis on genetics and genetic engineering in agriculture."?
  • Why the @FrankNFoode Campaign?
  • You have BS degree in Biology from University of Maryland College Park, and a PhD in Genetics from Iowa State University. What's it like to go from the east coast to the midwest?
  • Why did you chose to study the genetics of the nutritional aspects of maize? And is maize the correct term and why do the rest of us say corn?
  • You have insights on the science side from many years of studying biology and genetics. What are some of the hard parts about talking about genetics with people not familiar with the science of genetics?
  • Genetically modified organisms or GMO: which way do you prefer to say it? Do you think the way it is said (genetically modified organisms or GMO) affects the way people think about it?
  • What are some blog posts you wrote on BioFortified that generated unexpected conversations?
  • @FrankNFoode, how was he (she?) developed into a character to take on conversations about biology/biotechnology?
  • Social media plays a part in the conversations about genetically modified organisms. Do you think social media has helped or hurt the conversations? If the science of genetically modified organisms, where it is today, were done 100 years ago, and social media was not around, would we have to polarizations we have today?
  • Consumers can be swayed by media, that's why many companies spend billions on advertising and public relations. The science people and many people in the business of selling products that use genetically modified organisms tend to approach consumers with fact, science, and logic. And yet, Frankenstein Tomatoes with Tesla Coils win. What are your thoughts on other ways to talk with consumers about genetically modified organisms, food, and science?
  • For high school and college students thinking about science, what would you say to your younger self?

What resource do you recommend to learn more about genetics, genetically modified organisms, or science in general?

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