Scientific American Names Pew Initiative A 2004 “Top 50” Policy Leader in Agriculture

Contact: Mona Miller, 202.552.2135


Washington, D.C. - 11/10/2004 - The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology has been named by Scientific American magazine as a Policy Leader in Agriculture within the 2004 Scientific American 50—the magazine’s prestigious annual list recognizing outstanding acts of leadership in science and technology from the past year. "We are honored to receive this award from Scientific American," said Michael Rodemeyer, executive director of the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. "Since our inception in 2001, we have sought to transform the debate about genetically modified foods and agricultural biotechnology from unproductive polarization to constructive engagement. By providing a neutral forum for the discussion of the technology’s benefits, risks, and regulation, we hope to provide society and policymakers with a better sense of the issues that need resolution. This recognition by Scientific American lends support and validation for the work we do."

"We are very proud that the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology has become an important and trusted player in the policy debate surrounding agricultural biotechnology," added Maureen Byrnes, director of Policy Initiatives and the Health and Human Services program of The Pew Charitable Trusts, “and we are delighted that Scientific American has selected the project for this prestigious award."

Selected by the magazine’s Board of Editors with the help of distinguished outside advisors, the Scientific American 50 spotlights a Research Leader of the Year, a Business Leader of the Year and a Policy Leader of the Year. The list also recognizes research, business and policy leaders in various technological categories including Agriculture, Chemicals & Materials, Communications, Computing, Energy, Environment, Medical Treatments and more.

Other honorees range from former first lady Nancy Reagan, for her advocacy on behalf of stem cell research, to Harvard stem cell researcher Douglas Melton; Colorado astrophysicist Deborah Jin, for superconductivity-related studies; and Calpine Corp. CEO Peter Cartright, for pollution reduction efforts.

"Scientific American believes strongly that the best hope for a safer, healthier, more prosperous world rests in the enlightened use of technology," said Editor in Chief John Rennie. "The Scientific American 50 is our annual opportunity to salute the people and organizations making that possible through their outstanding efforts as leaders of research, industry and policymaking."

The Scientific American 50 appears in the magazine’s December issue, arriving on newsstands November 23. The complete list may also be accessed simultaneously on the magazine’s website at www.sciam.com.

The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research project whose goal is to inform the public and policymakers on issues about genetically modified food and agricultural biotechnology, including its importance, as well as concerns about it and its regulation. It is supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to the University of Richmond.

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