James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

November 2, 2009

Thank You Readers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — James @ 4:27 pm

In the first two days of November jamesandthegiantcorn.com has logged more traffic than in all of August. We’ve set new views-per-week records in five of the past six weeks. I’d like to think I’d write just as much if no one read, but in all honestly, that climbing views statistic has been vital motivation more than once. It also been especially awesome to see that we’re starting to get some real discussions going in the comment sections. Thank you!

I’m going to be buckling down the next few days to wrap up an NSF fellowship application due Friday, but I’m going to keep up the pace of at least one science or technology based post per day (this doesn’t count). I’ve even developed a small Strategic Post Reserve though hopefully I won’t have to dip into it. (As I wrote this, my PI swung by to remind me my NSF research proposal isn’t the hill I should want die on.)

While I’ve got your attention, let me wish a belated happy birthday to Biofortified. Their site has been live for a year now, and as I said to them, my only compaint is that I wish they wrote even MORE. Biofortified also finished ahead by a huge margin in the Asoka Changemakers contest, so unless someone leans pretty hard on the numbers, Frank is going to be meeting with Michael Pollan!

Biofortified's mascot Frank.

Biofortified's mascot Frank.

Alright, cya later folks. My sciencing awaits.

October 23, 2009

Putting Prejudice over Science

Filed under: agriculture,Link Posts,Politics — Tags: , , , — James @ 3:56 pm

I read this when it came out, but it was before I’d restarted the site full time, and Pamela Ronald restarted the discussion over on scienceblogs today. Back in May the USDA posted a report on their website about how allowing genetically engineered crops to be certified as organic would have positive environmental effects.

Needless to say the organic movement was not pleased, and the report has since been pulled from the website. Now I previously celebrated the idea that the Obama administration was going to let organic and biotech go head to head and take the best parts of both. I’m confident in the benefits of genetic engineering when people judge the technology based on the data instead of preconceived opinions.

Making reports disappear because they step on the toes of well connected interest groups is not letting the data speak for itself.

h/t’s to Tomorrows Table and Biofortified.

And hey, if you’re willing to spend 10 minutes you can register and vote for Biofortified in the Ashoka Changemakers Contest. There’s a good chance you’ll help win $1500 to support a website fighting the good fight to correct the misinformation about genetic engineering, but even more importantly from my perspective, winning this contest means the guy on the left (yes he’s wearing a corn cob patterned t-shirt) will get a chance to meet with Michael Pollen. There’s also a stuffed corn cob with glasses in the picture.

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