Responding to recent, anti-scientific attacks on everything from plant breeding techniques to pesticides to genetically modified ingredients in Europe, Monsanto has launched a social media campaign to remind Europeans of the essential role of science in human progress.
The campaign, in English and French, centres around the theme of knowledge #RootedInScience and features portraits and quotes of famous scientists including Galileo Galilei and Charles Darwin.
Their discoveries often provoked a public backlash at the time they were made but have been almost universally accepted since then. Their scientific findings were also essential to our understanding of physics, astronomy and biology, suggests Monsanto.
“At Monsanto, everything we do is rooted in science,” said Monsanto Europe CEO Leticia Gonçalves. “We believe developments in science have been behind every step in human progress.”
“We also believe that science is our best bet in meeting the huge challenges the world faces today, such as mitigating climate change and nourishing a growing global population,” she said. “We find it hard to grasp how so many people have come to see scientific progress as such a bad thing.”
An international seed and agricultural technology company, Monsanto is unusually research-intensive, investing more than 10% of sales in research and development.
The company employs around 5,000 scientists in 40 countries, including botanists, biologists and chemists in addition to experts on everything from bee health to soil health.
It maintains dozens of maize, oilseed rape and vegetable plant breeding sites throughout Europe. Monsanto aims to help farmers produce more food while reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Food security and food safety are two of the biggest challenges facing global society. Without action there is a very significant risk that a balanced diet may remain inaccessible for many of the expected 9.6 billion people on the planet in 2050.
Monsanto says it is determined to continue the work of the “Father of the Green Revolution” and Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, who is credited with having saved a billion lives through improvements in agricultural techniques and the development of high-yielding cereal crops.