Sense About Science hosts live Q&A on the environmental impact of farming

28th Oct 2012

On Thursday 18 November 2012 members of the public asked scientists about the environmental impact of organic and conventional farming during a live online Q&A hosted by Sense About Science as part of Biology Week 2012.

At 3pm Professor Jonathan Foley and Dr Hanna Tuomisto were poised and ready to respond to people’s queries. Initially the scientists were faced with questions about pesticide use and land sharing versus land sparing. As the conversation continued they covered what farmers could do to help bees, whether human dung should be used as a fertiliser and how to optimise farming systems to produce high yield and lower environmental impact. The answers to all of the questions can be viewed on the Sense About Science website.

People also followed the discussion via Twitter, with Professor Jonathan Foley continuing to talk to people after the Q&A had officially finished. The scientists received praise from those watching with @edbarkercla commenting “it is nice to read Q and As that are not ideologically charged- a good balance overall.” And @rmuckster saying “excellent q and a on a too often emotive subject.”

If there are any plant science issues you think Sense About Science should address let us know by contacting Dr Frances Downey, fdowney@senseaboutscience.org

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