2018-2019 Weekly Convocations

The weekly convocation series is a shared campus experience that brings students, faculty, and staff together for one hour for a lecture or presentation from specialists in a variety of fields.  The goal of the convocation series is to stimulate thought and conversation on a wide range of subjects. Convocations are open to the public and free of charge.

Oct 17

Convocation: Robert Paarlberg ’67

Food and agricultural policy researcher Robert Paarlberg addresses farming technologies and poverty in the developing world.

Friday, October 17th, 2014
10:50 – 11:50 am / Skinner Chapel
  • Convocation: Robert Paarlberg ’67
Paarlberg Convocation

Robert Paarlberg ’67 is a researcher on food and agricultural policy, with a focus on farming technologies and poverty in the developing world.  This topic connects Paarlberg both to his own family history (his father grew up on a farm in Indiana) and to an important current issue in international development: how to help farmers in Africa – most of whom are women – increase their productivity to better feed their families and escape poverty.  His book, Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa, explains why poor African farmers are denied access to productive technologies, particularly genetically engineered seeds with improved resistance to insects and drought.  He also has published books on the use of food as a weapon (Food Trade and Foreign Policy), on international agricultural trade negotiations (Fixing Farm Trade), on environmentally sustainable farming in developing countries (Countrysides at Risk), on U.S. foreign economic policy (Leadership Abroad Begins at Home), on the reform of U.S. agricultural policy (Policy Reform in American Agriculture), and on the regulation of biotechnology in developing countries (The Politics of Precaution).  In the past decade Paarlberg has worked in more than a dozen countries in Africa, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the United States Agency for International Development.  Paarlberg is a Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.  The title of his presentation is "The Political Fight over Food and Farming:  Who is Winning?"  (Sponsored by the Class of 1957 Revolving Lectureship Fund)



Sponsored by Convocations Committee. Contact: Kerry Raadt, Convocations Committee, x4308