Who funds my weed science program?

Since 2012, around two-thirds of my research funding has come from competitive grants. By competitive grants, I mean projects that I’ve developed and submitted to an agency for funding consideration. Many other people submit applications, too, and the funding agency selects the projects they feel are most worthy. Most of my competitive grants are from public funding sources like USDA-NIFA, state department of agriculture, or the state Agricultural Experiment Station; but some competitive grants are also funded by local and regional grower groups. …

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On transparency, intimidation, and being called a shill

A while back, a group of scientists involved in research or communication about various aspects of biotechnology (GMOs) were the subjects of freedom of information requests. Keith Kloor, who broke the story in Science, also posted one of the letters sent to the University of Illinois. The request asks for all emails in the last 2+ years between the scientists and a long list of companies. Gary Ruskin, an activist funded by the Organic Consumers Association, is making these requests while suggesting the …

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Defining Agroecology

Agroecology (ag´ rō i kol´ ə jē), n. An ecosystems approach to agriculture. Agroecology. It’s an unfamiliar term to many people. And even people who are actively engaged in some aspect of agroecology sometimes disagree about what it means. I have to admit, even though the term is pretty important to me, I was fairly oblivious (or at the very least, indifferent) to the ambiguity until very recently. But it seems more and more I find myself trying to define …

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