Science and Technology Studies

3: Maywa Montenegro on GMOs, agrobiodiversity, and the politics of who speaks for science

Maywa Montenegro de Wit is a seed scholar and science writer who I know through many mutual friends and through the agroecology movement.  I love to keep up with her written work, in part because it is so well crafted, but also because she continually brings fresh analysis and perspective to conversations that can feel tired-- like conversations about the role of urban agriculture, the importance of biodiversity conservation, and the use of genetically modified organisms. She is a PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley, where her research focuses on the social relations around seeds and seed systems.  She also has a degree in molecular biology, and a masters in science writing from MIT. She publishes work in academic journals and also widely in the popular press.  She was an editor at Seed Magazine, and her work is published recently by Ensia, Gastronomica, The Huffington Post and, among many other publications.

Maywa talks with Devon about the conservation of crop wild relatives, GMOs, the food movement, and the privileged positioning of scientific knowledge and the need to recognise many kinds of knowledges about food.