Online activism impacting Biotechnology?

May 27, 2012 at 9:29 am Leave a comment

According to a study done by the Pew Research Centre in 2010, six in 10 (59%) consumers get news and information from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day and use of TV and traditional newspapers are on a steady decline[1]. Internet usage is steadily growing, averaging a rate of 400+% per year since 2000[2]. In fact, 13% of Internet users in America are Twitter users, up from 8% the year before. These users are ‘on the go.’ Ninety five percent own a mobile phone, and half of these users access social media tools on their handheld device[3].

Why does this matter for agricultural science and science advocates? Anti-technology groups have changed their ‘modus operandi’ over the past few years. At one time, interest groups would lobby or demonstrate and, in some extreme cases, resort to vandalizing field trials. But now, a whole new generation of activism has evolved. Interest groups are rapidly adopting social media as a way to influence public opinion and to disparage modern plant biotechnology and associated practices. And they circulate their message faster and more efficiently than ever before.

From a post by Cami Ryan, Cami Ryan is a Professional Research Associate with the Departments of Plant Sciences and Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics at the U of S and is working as a social scientist on the Total Utilization of Flax Genomics (TUFGEN).

Click here for the complete article

Our question: Have you seen the influence of online advocacy in your work?

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