Pamela Ronald, plant geneticist, author and keynote speaker delivered a TED talk on how genetic modification of our food is not a bad idea that many people fear it to be. Prof. Ronald spoke about the science behind organic farming, plant genetics and food production and shared how she and her husband, an organic farmer, are working towards the goal of helping to nourish the growing population without further destroying the environment.
Pamela Ronald is a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis. She is also the Director of Grass Genetics and the Joint Bioenergy Institute in Emeryville and faculty director of the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy.
Prof. Pamela Ronald is widely known for her research discoveries and her ability to bring awareness to the public. Together with her husband, organic farmer Raoul Adamchak, Prof. Pamela Ronald wrote the highly-praised book “Tomorrow’s Table”. The book was selected as one of the best books of 2008 by Seed Magazine and the Library Journal, and in 2012, The New Earth Archive named it one of the 25 most powerful and influential books with the power to inspire college readers to change the world. Tech mogul Bill Gates called her book Tomorrow’s Table “a fantastic piece of work.”
Aside from her book, Prof. Ronald’s views has also been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Forbes Magazine, Scientific American, The Harvard International Review, The Economist, the Boston review and MIT technology review. Her research has been published in Science, Science Advances, Nature and other leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, and has also been featured in The New York Times, Organic Gardening Magazine, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Progressive Farmer, CNN, Discover Magazine, The Scientist, Popular Mechanics, Bill Gates blog, National Public Radio the BBC and National Geographic.
Prof. Ronald’s long list of accolades include:
- USDA 2008 National Research Initiative Discovery Award for their work on submergence tolerant rice (received together with her colleagues)
- 2009 National Association of Science Writers in Society Journalism Award
- 2011 one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company Magazine
- 2012 Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food
- 2012 Tech Award 2012 for innovative use of technology to benefit humanity (received together with colleagues)
- 2015 one of the Worldview 100 by the Scientific American
Some details of Prof. Ronald’s academic resume include:
- B.A. from Reed College,
- M.A. from Stanford University
- M.S. from Uppsala University, Sweden
- Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1990
- postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University from 1990–1992
- Faculty Assistant to the Provost from 2004–2007 at UC Davis
- chair of the UC Davis Distinguished Women in Science seminar series 2003–2007
- awarded Fulbright (1984, 2012), Guggenheim (2000), and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)(2008) Fellowships.
Prof. Ronald is also the founder of the UC Davis program Genetic Resources Recognition Fund and UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy.