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​​Talking Science: How to Have Productive Conversations on Difficult Topics

Broadcast Date: June 30, 2023 | 12:00 -1:00 ​PM Central

​​​Webinar Summary​

According to a survey conducted during the 3-part webinar series “Interpreting labels and proper use of synthetic fungicides”, organized by the Chemical Control Committee in 2022, participants (including members of the Chemical Control Committee and other APS members) expressed the need for training on the communication of the use and importance of pesticides with the general public. The rapidly changing public and media perception and awareness of chemical usage on food products urge plant pathologists and other professionals associated with the food industry to improve our collective ability to communicate the impact of our science to the public. We need to gather support for the products which are developed to combat crop diseases in commercial agriculture to increase food security and reduce food waste. Therefore, in this webinar series, marketing and communication professionals from the pesticide and general chemistry industry will provide their expertise and experience and help the APS community to bridge the communication gap between scientists and the general public.

Learning Objectives

Public concern about the risks related to pesticide usage in agriculture has increased over the past years, especially with the advent of social media. At the end of this session, attendees will be able to improve their ability to communicate and educate the public on the use of pesticides, and the resulting public awareness will help shape public policy, reaching appropriate regulatory audiences and federal agencies. As more people understand what the chemical control industry and farmers do (and the perceived benefits over risks) for agriculture and the food supply, we can increase the impact of plant science/pathology on public policy decisions.  Attendees will be able to learn how to effectively communicate the benefits over the risks of the use of pesticides and use terminology that will allow APS members to communicate effectively about the positive uses of pesticides.


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Genevieve O’Sullivan
CropLife America

Genevieve (Gen) O’Sullivan is the vice president of communications and marketing at CropLife America, the national trade association representing formulators, manufacturers, and distributors of organic and non-organic pesticides. A Washington state native, her background includes policy and campaign work, as well as public and private communications positions. Prior to joining CropLife America, she worked with various associations at the federal, state, and local levels, representing recycling, garbage haulers, and state foresters. She and her husband also spent several years owning a restaurant and cheesemaking facility in Washington D.C. and were designated the first cheesemakers in the history of the District. Gen received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Western Washington University. She has been an avid Seahawks fan for more than 35 years and thanks to her upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, still loves a good Pearl Jam concert and a comfy flannel.

On-Demand Video​