Expert views on communicating genetic technology used in agriculture

  • Jillian Hendricks (Creator)
  • Daniel M Weary (Creator)
  • Marina A G von Keyserlingk (Contributor)



The aim of the current study was to describe the views of experts working in agricultural genetics regarding how best to communicate genetic technology with a broader audience (e.g., clientele, the public). We recruited 10 experts working in roles that involve communication about genetic technology in agriculture. Using semi-structured interviews, we asked participants to describe how they discuss this technology, who they discuss it with, and their thoughts on the involvement of various stakeholders in these discussions. Interview transcripts were subjected to thematic analysis and participant responses were organized into three themes: 1) Communicating and framing genetic technology, including discussing risks, benefits, and applications, distinguishing technology from other similar technologies, and engaging in value-based discussions; 2) Challenges of public communication, including misinformation and opposing opinions, conflation with older technologies, and balancing information provision; and 3) Stakeholder involvement in discussions, which included views on how different groups (e.g., activists, farmers, and scientists) should be included in discussions, and who is best suited to discuss genetic technology with the public. We conclude that leaders in agricultural genetics engage in a variety of approaches to communicate genetic technology, using different frames that they feel are likely to appeal to their audience, and differ in their opinions of who should be involved in these discussions.
Date made available2024

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