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Lecture - Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Science in the Media

Are GMOs dangerous? Untested? What scares us? What doesn’t? How do scare stories get started? Faye Flam, a nationally known science writer, and Dr. David Cragin, a toxicologist and risk assessment expert, will discuss science in the media with a specific focus on GMOs.


Faye Flam is a science journalist, science writing teacher, and journalism critic. She has written for Science, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post, and Science News. She’s covered physics, space, biology, environmental science, and medicine and launched two weekly columns, one on sex and the other on evolution. She was recently awarded the Friend of Darwin award from the National Center for Science Education for the evolution column. She is currently a writer-in-residence at Ursinus College and a journalism critic for the Knight Foundation. She is the author of The Score, how the quest for sex shaped the modern man. Faye’ s blogsite is fayeflamwriter.com


Dr. Dave Cragin is the Associate Director of Chemical Notification and Registration for a large pharmaceutical company. For more than 10 years, he has taught a graduate course on risk assessment and critical thinking as an Adjunct Professor of Health Policy and Public Health for the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Since 2008, he has also taught a subset of this class as a Professor of the International Program in Pharmaceutical Engineering Management of Peking University, Beijing, China. He speaks Chinese. Previously, he was risk assessment manager and toxicology manager for several companies in the oil, chemical, and pesticide industries. Dr. Cragin is a Past-President of the Mid-Atlantic Society of Toxicology, the largest chapter of the Society of Toxicology, and a Councilor for the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking. He has also contributed to Society of Toxicology's K-12 education programs and has given many talks on careers in science for kids ranging from K-9th grade. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from University of California, Davis, his B.S. in Zoology from the University of Rhode Island, and he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.

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  • eric k.

    David Cragin and Faye are a powerful time and really covered it well - they were both quick on their feet with tough Q&A time

    January 19, 2014

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