March 1, 2009


The 2009 AIBS annual meeting, "Sustainable Agriculture: Greening the Global Food Supply," will be held 18–19 May at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The program chair is 2009 AIBS President May R. Berenbaum, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Registration, poster submission forms, and the preliminary program are online at The meeting will bring together plenary speakers, panelists, and discussion groups from the basic and applied life sciences to examine food sustainability, supply, and security. The two-day program is geared toward the science-policy interface for an audience of scientists, educators, students, representatives from nongovernmental organizations, members of Congress, and the media. The rest of the meeting's program will be rounded out by, among other events, a contributed poster session, AIBS awards, a teachers' workshop organized by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study and the National Association of Biology Teachers, and a workshop, led by the AIBS Public Policy Office, focusing on the AIBS publication Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media. As a special event, there will be a reception and lecture starting at 6:30 p.m. on 18 May at the National Academies' Keck Center, in Washington, DC. The speaker will be Robert Pennock, of Michigan State University, who will give the talk "Reason Enough for Scientific Researches: Darwin and the Scientific Virtues." The evening will also include an after-hours tour of the Koshland Science Center. (The $35 fee for the reception includes return bus transportation from the meeting hotel and after-hours access to the Koshland Science Museum.) The meeting is taking place during "Year of Science 2009," a year of activities aimed at engaging the general public in the nature and value of the scientific enterprise. Year of Science 2009, which is co-organized by AIBS and the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science, involves more than 500 organizations. Recordings of the plenary lectures from the annual meeting will be available online for free viewing in the AIBS Media Library ( about two months after the meeting. The meeting's confirmed speakers and the topics of their presentations, if available, are listed below:

  • Bruce Alberts (Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco); Science editor-in-chief
  • May R. Berenbaum (Department of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Fred Gould (Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University): "From Transgenic Crops to Transgenic Pests: How Can AgBiotech Be Green?"
  • Hans R. Herren (Millennium Institute, Arlington, Virginia): "Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: The Wake-up Call for Change"
  • Taylor Ricketts (Conservation Science Program, World Wildlife Fund–USA); agriculture and conservation
  • Scott Swinton (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University); agriculture and ecosystem services
  • Robert Tauxe (National Center for Zoonotic, Vectorborne, and Enteric Diseases; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); foodborne diseases

Breakout discussion sessions

  • Public understanding of agriculture, food supply, genetically modified foods
  • Biofuels
  • National Academies' report on agriculture and undergraduate science education
  • Year of Science 2009 information and planning session


  • National Association of Biology Teachers/Biological Sciences Curriculum Study
  • AIBS Public Policy Office: Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media
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