Tuskegee's Prakash wins ag science communication award

By Agri-Pulse staff

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WASHINGTON, April 16, 2015 -- C.S. Prakash, director of the Center for Plant Biotechnology Research at Tuskegee University in Alabama, will receive the 2015 Borlaug CAST Communication Award from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Oct. 4 in a World Food Prize ceremony in Iowa.

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Next to the late Norman Borlaug, regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, “Prakash has arguably done more than anyone else in academia or industry to promote agricultural technologies that can help feed the world's growing population,” said CAST President David Songstad of Cibus, a San Diego gene editing firm. “He is a master of social media.”

Prakash was instrumental in establishing Tuskegee's plant biotechnology research and training program and was one of the first members of earlier USDA biotechnology advisory committees. His popular @agbioworld Twitter feed has more than 4,500 followers.

CAST said that Prakash “has worked especially hard to promote biotechnology research and policy in the developing countries of Asia and Africa.”

Borlaug, an early proponent of CAST at its 1972 creation, once praised Prakash for “bringing common sense into the use of biotechnology.” Julie Borlaug Larson says that Prakash - much like her grandfather - is “dedicated to utilizing science and technology to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world's most impoverished and marginalized populations.”

CAST quoted a colleague who calls Prakash “one of the strongest and most consistent voices countering the spread of misinformation.”

The announcement was made Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington following a presentation by the recipient of the 2014 Borlaug Cast Communication Award, animal scientist Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California-Davis.

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