The statistic has become familiar: Food production will need to double by 2050 to feed an estimated global population of more than 9 billion.
It's a daunting, yet exhilarating, challenge for researchers addressing this major global issue.
During the fall Nebraska Lecture Nov. 1, internationally known UNL small grains breeder P. Stephen Baenziger will explain the challenges of feeding the world, possibilities for expanding food production and science's role in solving these problems.
The free public lecture, "The Joy of Applied Science While Feeding the World," will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union auditorium, 14th and R streets, with a reception following. A live webcast will be available at http://research.unl.edu. An archived video will be available for later viewing about a week after the event. Follow and discuss the lecture via Twitter using the hashtag #neblecture.
Baenziger said recognition of the challenge ahead in feeding the world has led to a new respect for agriculture, which many have been unwilling to recognize as real science. In fact, he said, it's humans' "first science," and the one that made progress possible.
"I think you’re going to see some of the very best minds coming to agriculture," he said.
Baenziger is the first faculty member to hold the Nebraska Wheat Growers Presidential Chair, an endowed professorship provided through a partnership between NUtech Ventures and Bayer CropScience. He leads UNL's widely known wheat breeding program and research to develop cutting-edge wheat breeding technologies and varieties. He also serves on the International Rice Research Institute's board of trustees.
The Nebraska Lectures, which feature distinguished UNL faculty, are designed for general audiences and provide insights about some of the university's leading research, scholarly and creative activity. Baenziger's lecture is sponsored by the UNL Research Council, Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Research and Economic Development.