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Lecture Series 2012-2014

Lecture No 1: Thursday 12th July 2012

Navigating the Perfect Storm: The International Challenge of Food, Water and Energy Security

Professor Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and Member of High-Level Stakeholder Group responsible for 2011 UK Foresight Report on The Future of Food and Farming.

Sir John Beddington was appointed as UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) on 1 January 2008. Since being in post, the GCSA has led on providing scientific advice to Government during the 2009 swine flu outbreak and the 2010 volcanic ash incident. The GCSA has also been responsible for increasing the scientific capacity across Whitehall by encouraging all major departments of state to recruit a Chief Scientific Adviser.

Throughout 2008 and 2009 Sir John raised the concept of the “Perfect Storm” of food, energy and water security in the context of climate change, gaining considerable media attention and raising this as a priority in the UK and internationally. In this context, he played a key role in the very influential UK Global Foresight Report on the ‘Future of Food and Farming’ which was published in 2011.

Prior to his appointment as GCSA, he was Professor of Applied Population Biology and headed the main departments of environmental science and technology at Imperial College. His main research interests are the application of biological and economic analysis to problems of Natural Resource Management.

Sir John has previously been advisor to a number of UK Government departments including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Cabinet Office. He has also advised several Governments and international bodies including the Australian, New Zealand and US Governments, the European Commission, the United Nations Environment Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation.

He was, for six years, a member of the Natural Environment Research Council. In June 1997 he was awarded the Heidelberg Award for Environmental Excellence, in 2001 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2004 he was awarded the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George by Her Majesty the Queen and in June 2010 was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Lecture No 2: Tuesday 27th November 2012

Will we Run out of Natural Resources Needed for Food Production?

Dominique van der Mensbrugghe is Senior Economist and Team Leader of the Global Perspectives Studies Team at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He recently joined the FAO after twelve years at the World Bank where he was a Lead Economist in the Development Prospects Group. Prior to joining the World Bank, Dominique worked for 10 years at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) based in Paris. The focus of his work during his career has been on long-term structural change of the global economy and the analysis of global economic policy issues—including agricultural policies, regional and multilateral trade agreements, demographics and international migration, the Millennium Development Goals, and climate change. His work has appeared frequently in various economic journals and the World Bank’s annual flagship reports and he is one of the world’s experts on global computable general equilibrium modeling. He holds both Belgian and U.S. citizenship, received his undergraduate degree in mathematics at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lecture No 3: Thursday 11th April 2013 at 6.30 pm

Europe’s Role in Food and Nutrition Security

Dr Shenggen Fan has been director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 2009. He joined IFPRI in 1995 as a research fellow, conducting extensive research on pro-poor development strategies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He led IFPRI’s program on public investment before becoming the director of the Institute’s Development Strategy and Governance Division in 2005. Prior to working at IFPRI, he held positions at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) in the Netherlands and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Arkansas He is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security. He received his PhD in applied economics from the University of Minnesota, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Nanjing Agricultural University in China.

Lecture No 4: Thursday 28th November 2013 at 6.30 pm

Sustainable Intensification and the Role of Science and Technology in Meeting the Food Security Challenge

Professor Charles Godfray is Hope Professor of Zoology at Jesus College, Oxford and Director of Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food. He is a population biologist with broad interests in the environmental sciences and has published in fundamental and applied areas of ecology, evolution and epidemiology. He is interested in how the global food system will need to change and adapt to the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, and in particular in the concept of sustainable intensification, and the relationship between food production, ecosystem services and biodiversity. He chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming and is a member of the Strategy Advisory Board of the UK Global Food Security Programme and the Steering Group of the UK Government Green Food Project. He is also a member of the writing team for the UN’s Committee on World Food Security, High Level Panel of Experts report on Climate Change and Food Security.

Lecture No 5: Tuesday 15th April 2014

Is Better Global Governance of the Food System the Answer?

Dr Maximo Torero is the Division Director of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC, leader of the Global Research Program on Institutions and Infrastructure for Market Development and Director for Latin America. He has fifteen years of experience in applied research and in operational activities. Prior to joining IFPRI, he was a senior researcher and member of the executive committee at Group of Analysis for Development (GRADE). He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles, Department of Economics and held a postdoctoral fellow position at the UCLA Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). He is also a professor on leave at the Universidad del Pacífico, and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, Germany. He has won twice the World Award for Outstanding Research on Development given by the Global Development Network (GDN).

Lecture No 6: Tuesday 1st July 2014

'Irelands Response to Global Grand Challenges in Agriculture and Food'

Simon Coveney holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Land Management from The Royal Agriculture College, Gloucestershire. He was first elected to the Dáil in 1998 and was appointed as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine on March 9th 2011. He has also held Shadow Ministries in the following areas: Drugs and Youth Affairs; Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Transport and the Marine.
Mr. Coveney was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and was a member of the EPP-ED group. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. He was also a substitute member on the Fisheries Committee. Mr. Coveney was the author of the European Parliament's Annual Report on Human Rights in the World for the year 2004 and again for 2006.