I recently worked with Dr. Lee Hickey and James Hill on a pilot for a new interview web series ‘Science Over Coffee’. An entirely UQ-based project, I had fun making the intro animation and writing the theme music, because that’s what I do!

Here is Lee’s description of the video:

In our pilot episode, we chat with Professor Ian Godwin from The University of Queensland about genetically modified food crops. Ian believes that GMO foods and organic agriculture are perfectly compatible. He explains that scientists are creating GMO plants to achieve a more sustainable agriculture. The idea is to create plants resistant to pests and diseases, that don’t require the use of chemicals, but provide the same productivity and food quality.

He points out that our beloved “organic” potato is actually sprayed with copper to control disease and the use of copper fungicides in organic farming may be resulting in increased levels of copper in the soil and the food we eat. So maybe it’s time we embrace GMOs for more sustainable agriculture and healthier food?

If you are after more information about this topic, below are a few good articles to get you started:

This article illustrates Ian’s example about the potato, traditional breeding won’t work and production requires a lot of pesticides:
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1639/20130087.full

A huge meta analysis showing how GMOs have reduced pesticide use wherever it has been adopted:
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111629

If you want to follow Science Over Coffee, and to watch any future episodes:

All the animation was done in Abode After Effects, with vectors and images sourced from FreePik, Vecteezy and FreeIcon, featuring CC images for free use.

Enjoy!

-s