He has helped develop Canada’s regulations covering the environmental release of plants with novel traits. He has first-hand experience developing internationally approved commercial crop varieties using both conventional breeding and genetic engineering techniques. He also is an educator and consumer advocate, helping nonscientists understand the environmental and health impacts of both modern and traditional methods of food production. Currently, McHughen is chair of the International Advisory Committee for the International Symposia on the Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms. He received his B.Sc. from Dalhousie University in 1976 and his D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1979.
Ronald L. Phillips is regent’s professor and McKnight presidential chair in genomics at the University of Minnesota. Throughout this career Dr. Phillips has coupled the techniques of classical cytogenetics with research advances in tissue culture and molecular biology to enhance understanding of basic biology of cereal crops and to improve these species by innovative methods. His research program at the University of Minnesota was one of the early programs in modern plant biotechnology related to agriculture. He is a founding member and former director of the Plant Molecular Genetics Institute of the University of Minnesota. Dr. Phillips served as chief scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1996–1998) in charge of the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program. In 1991 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He also served as both a member and chair of the National Research Council’s Scientific Council to the Plant Gene Expression Center from 1985 to 1993. Dr. Phillips currently serves as president of the Crop Science Society of America. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Purdue University and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Paul B. Thompson is the Joyce and Edward E. Brewer distinguished professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Food Animal Productivity and Well-Being at Purdue University. He has published extensively on the ethics, policies, perceptions, and impact of agriculture and biotechnology for both the agricultural communities and the American public. Dr. Thompson received his B.A. in philosophy from Emory University in 1974 and his M.A. (1979) and Ph.D. (1980) in philosophy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.