Science in Society Archive

I-SIS Special Mini-series

Rice is Life

Rice is the staple for more than half of world's population living in many of the poorest countries. It has great social, political and scientific significance. How will the rice genome sequence, recently announced, affect the food security of the poor? This I-SIS mini-series examines the role of different players that will shape the future of agriculture and food security in the developing countries.

  1. Public/Private Partnerships Too Close for Comfort?

    Is the relationship between public and private getting too cosy for comfort in the rice genome sequencing efforts? Dr. Mae-Wan Ho asks.

  2. Breaching the Knowledge Monopoly

    China Trumps the West in Sequencing Rice Genome

    The Beijing Genomics Institute of China has taken the scientific world by surprise. It came up from behind to beat the West at its own game, finishing a draft of the rice genome in just 18 months, and has the potential to change the power politics of agriculture forever. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho reports on the remarkable scientist who heads the Institute, and his vision of equal and free access of genetic information for all.

  3. Significance of the Rice Genome

    The rice genome is in many respects much more significant than the human genome, because the potential to use (and hence abuse) it is much greater. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins report.

  4. Science for the Poor, or Procurer for the Rich?

    The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is the world's largest and most influential agricultural research network that is supposed to help the poor. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho questions its role in safeguarding genetic resources held it its trust.

  5. Has Science Compromised Science?

    Once again, the journal Science has allowed a private company to publish a scientific paper in its pages while withholding data from public view for commercial reasons. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho reports.

Article first published 18/04/02

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