We Pioneered a Technology to Save Millions of Poor Children, But a Worldwide Smear Campaign Has Blocked It

We Pioneered a Technology to Save Millions of Poor Children, But a Worldwide Smear Campaign Has Blocked It

On left, a picture of white rice next to Golden Rice, and on right, a girl who lost one eye due to vitamin A deficiency.

(Photo Credit: Golden Rice Humanitarian Board)


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Adrian Dubock, Ingo Potrykus, Peter Beyer
Peter Beyer headed a research group at University of Freiburg, Germany, with a strong focus on improving the nutritional value of crop plants. Ingo Potrykus worked at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, with a research group using genetic engineering technology applied to "food security" crops in developing countries. Adrian Dubock designed the international collaboration, and its governance, for turning the results of the Potrykus and Beyer teams into a useful product – Golden Rice - to combat vitamin A deficiency, a long-standing objective which all three share. Potrykus is the Chair of the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board, Beyer and Dubock are Board members, and Dubock is also the Executive Secretary of the Board. In common with other Board members, all three are unpaid volunteers.
person using an apple watch
Luke Chesser - Unsplash

Today’s podcast guest is Rosalind Picard, a researcher, inventor named on over 100 patents, entrepreneur, author, professor and engineer. When it comes to the science related to endowing computer software with emotional intelligence, she wrote the book. It’s published by MIT Press and called Affective Computing.

Dr. Picard is founder and director of the MIT Media Lab’s Affective Computing Research Group. Her research and engineering contributions have been recognized internationally. For example, she received the 2022 International Lombardy Prize for Computer Science Research, considered by many to be the Nobel prize in computer science.

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Matt Fuchs
Matt Fuchs is the host of the Making Sense of Science podcast and served previously as the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He writes as a contributor to the Washington Post, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, Nautilus Magazine, Fortune Magazine and TIME Magazine. Follow him @fuchswriter.
Hidden figures: Five black women that changed science forever

Dr. May Edward Chinn, Kizzmekia Corbett, PhD., and Alice Ball, among others, have been behind some of the most important scientific work of the last century.


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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.