Genetically Modified Animals:  the Facts, the Fear Mongering, and the Future

Speaker:  Alison Van Eenennaam, University of California - Davis, 2014 Borlaug CAST Communication Awardee

January 13, 2015

7:00 p.m.

Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center; 2021 Transformation Drive, Lincoln, NE

Dr. Van Eenennaam will talk about the future of genetically modified animals. The first genetically engineered animals were produced almost 30 years ago, although to date no genetically engineered food animal has come to market. A comprehensive regulatory evaluation is required for such animals, triggered by the use of recombinant DNA technology in their development. All required regulatory studies for the fast-growing "AquAdvantage" Atlantic salmon, the first food animal to undergo regulatory and review, and were completed in 2009. However the application has been lingering in regulatory limbo for over 4 years awaiting a decision by the FDA. Part of this delay has been occasioned by political interference from both activists and competing fishing industries, sending a message that the science-based regulatory oversight as embodied in the FDA review process is subject to political intervention. This regulatory roadblock has had a chilling effect on investment in the development of genetically engineered animals in the US, and the technology has started to move to other countries with a more favorable policy environment. This comes at a time when developments in the science of genetic modification are enabling increasingly precise gene modifications, enabling many potential beneficial applications of this technology in the genetic improvement of food animals. Refocusing the regulatory review of genetically modified animals to a technology-agnostic, science-based evaluation of any novel attributes of the phenotype will be a crucial step in allowing the use of these advanced breeding technologies in US animal agriculture.

Climate Change in the American Mind

Speaker:  Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

March 10, 2015

3:30 p.m.

Hardin Hall, 33rd and Holdrege, Lincoln, NE

Dr. Leiserowitz is Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a Research Scientist at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He is a widely recognized expert on American and international public opinion on global warming, including public perception of climate change risks, support and opposition for climate policies, and willingness to make individual behavioral change. His research investigates the psychological, cultural, political, and geographic factors that drive public environmental perception and behavior. He has conducted survey, experimental, and field research at scales ranging from the global to the local, including international studies, the United States, individual states (Alaska and Florida), municipalities (New York City), and with the Inupiaq Eskimo of Northwest Alaska. He also conducted the first empirical assessment of worldwide public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding global sustainability, including environmental protection, economic growth, and human development. He has served as a consultant to the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, the Global Roundtable on Climate Change at the Earth Institute (Columbia University), and the World Economic Forum.  Dr. Leiserowitz will report on recent trends in Americans' climate change knowledge, attitudes, policy support, and behavior and discuss strategies for more effective public engagement.

Location Information

The second Heuermann Lecture on Nov. 6 will take place at Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center; 2021 Transformation Drive

Parking at Innovation Campus

Parking is free at Nebraska Innovation Campus on the north side of the Conference Center.


• Take Antelope Valley Roadway to Salt Creek Roadway
• Turn Right onto Salt Creek Roadway
• Continue over bridge until you see Innovation Campus buildings (some still under construction)
• Take your first left onto Transformation Drive (Gate 2)
• 1.5 Blocks then you arrive to the old 4-H Building, now NIC Conference Center. Former Industrial Arts Building will be the first structure you see. It is still under construction.
• Parking is available north of Innovation Campus buildings 
•  Look for courtyard area and look for the "Heuermann Lecture" sign

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Anyone who requires reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act, such as interpreters, transcribers, assistive listening devices, special seating, or accessible media, please contact Jessie Brophy at (402) 472-7080,, two weeks prior to the event to discuss arrangements. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to all individuals with disabilities attending any conference or meeting at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.