He recently sat down with Common Ground (one of my favorite groups) and did a little interview. Here’s a couple of my favorite questions and answers:
Q: What caused you to shift from condemning GMOs to supporting them?
A: It was a longtime process – years. I wrote my last anti-GMO piece in 2008, in The Guardian (an influential British news outlet). By the time I was writing my book, God Species, I was beginning to change my mind. I was writing an anti-GMO chapter at the time, and, because I was doing the book as a scientific-literature review, I turned to pro because there wasn’t any scientific evidence to support what I thought I knew about biotechnology.
Q: What science or evidence made you say, ‘I don’t believe this anymore’?
A: What I was doing, really, was trying to hold myself to consistent standards as to how I was using science, as a science writer myself. So on climate change I was insisting that scientific evidence should be preeminent, that we should use scientific consensus as a baseline, and we should always use peer-reviewed studies. On biotech, it was sort of the opposite, where I was using factsheets from environmental organizations, campaigning materials and political ideology. The facts I used were not supported scientifically … they weren’t evidence based in fact. And so, as a science communicator, I had to resolve the issue.
Read the whole interview here.