The National Academies holds a Breakthroughs 2030 "Town Hall"

On August 8th, the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a Town Hall event for its study, Science Breakthroughs 2030: A Strategy for Food and Agricultural Research.  The study is being conducted by a selected committee of experts, including ASA, CSSA, and SSSA member Raj Khosla, but this Town Hall meeting was open to the public and questions and comments from audience members were encouraged.

Panels on production, sustainability, and human health presented the science, engineering, and technology advancements that could drive innovation in food and agriculture research, such as engineering more efficient photosynthesis in crops and using sensor technology and big data to advance precision agriculture and agroecology.  During discussions, however, audience members and panelists returned to a number of common themes spanning these topics, including the potential of the microbiome.  Plant and soil probiotics were discussed as ways to increase yield, sustainability, and human health, for example.  Another common topic was the overarching impact of human behavior and how production intersects with economics and food choice.  As agricultural economist Jayson Lusk pointedly asked, “What is the value of a technology that farmers won’t buy or can’t sell?”

There’s still time to provide input to the study through IdeaBuzz. Submit your research ideas or vote on those already submitted.