Media, nature, and the zeitgeist

Today, we take a little bit of break from talking about science to instead talk about how media covers science, particularly the reporting on genetically modified organisms (more commonly called GMOs).  It’s a contentious subject, and Keith talks about why people tend to take it so personally, when he got interested in GMOs, and what caused him to become the “crop cop.”


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Contributor

Keith Kloor
Keith Kloor is a science journalist writing mostly on the intersection between earth science and culture.  He was a senior editor at Audubon magazine from 2000-2008, and has written for Slate, Science, and Nature magazines.  Currently, Keith blogs for Discover Magazine at Collide-a-Scape.  In 2013, Curtis Brainard at the Columbia Journalism Review called Keith the “Crop Cop” for his reporting on genetically modified organisms, more commonly called GMOs.

Interviewers

Miles Traer
Miles Traer began his academic career at UC Berkeley with a double major in Geophysics and Art History. He is currently a fifth-year PhD student in the Tectonic Geomorphology Lab modeling the evolution of the seafloor. Miles was first turned on to podcasts in 2007 and quickly became an avid consumer. Some of his favorites include The BS Report, the StarTalk Radio podcast, In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, The Nerdist, and WTF with Marc Maron. In addition to his work as a scientist, Miles works as a part-time artist, contributing the art of this website including the portraits found on each interview’s page (drawn by hand). When he’s not working on science or this podcast, you can generally find him cooking cajun gumbo and listening to blues.

Leslie Chang
Leslie Chang is a recent graduate of Stanford University, where she studied Earth Systems and creative writing. She has been a correspondent for Generation Anthropocene since the podcast’s earliest days, and fully joined the team after graduating in June 2012. In her spare time, she might be found camping, cooking, teaching piano, or enjoying a book with a mug of coffee. She is an avid fan of NPR, sea otters, SNL, free food samples, and anyone who posts interesting articles to Twitter. That could be you.

 

2 thoughts on “Media, nature, and the zeitgeist

  1. This interview provides a wonderful cautionary tale. The whole (climate risk is exaggerated / fan of Revkin / media is liberal / Monsanto is good) meme sounds glibly believable as Mr. Kloor presents it, but it can’t standup against thoughtful scrutiny.
    Where to start? Where to start? Monsanto Bt Corn is engineered to produce its own pesticide. Doesn’t the precautionary principle demand at least passing concern about how safe these pesticides are for human consumption?
    Also, much of the concern about Monsanto crops is about the so-called intellectual property rights of the seeds. Thus if these seeds get mixed into traditional crops, Monsanto can claim (and has claimed) infringement of its rights. A farmer can be sued for accidentally growing it. What a great way to wreck third world farming! No wonder the rest of the world wants the stuff kept out.

  2. Pingback: The Middle Ground - Collide-a-Scape | DiscoverMagazine.com

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