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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2018
Oct 24, 2021
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STIA 330 - Green Revolutions
While the term Green has many uses today, the original “Green Revolution” was a revolution in agriculture. The Green Revolution dramatically increased global agriculture output in the second half of the 20th century using a combination of humanitarian concern, political mission, and good science. While the Revolution had negative side effects, it is often credited with saving the lives of tens of millions of people. However, the Green Revolution clearly did not solve the world’s food problems. There are still 1 billion hungry people, as many as in 1930. Increasing and increasingly wealthy populations continue to demand ever more food. New land and water resources to expand food production to meet this demand are simply not available. Demands for “green” energy including biofuels and hydropower now compete with food for people. And the issue is also not just about more production. Hunger is as much related to lack of access to food as it is to the food itself. The root cause of malnutrition can be health, not diet. Obesity may now be a bigger health risk than hunger, even in developing countries such as India.
Will we need another Green Revolution to meet our new and varied food challenges? Should it be a “green” Green Revolution based on locally produced organics to ensure sustainability? Or a “gene” revolution of biotechnology to ensure that food prices remain low? Which Green Revolution(s) will work in a new world with new political priorities, new philanthropists and new technologies? Should we even worry about more food production at all and instead focus on income to buy the food and healthy bodies to absorb its nutrients? In this class, we will draw lessons from the last Green Revolution to help us consider what the next Green Revolution(s) could and should look like.
As importantly, we will use the case of the original Green Revolution to consider how grand theories and world views influence our approaches to the problems we face, how science and international politics interact, and the roles of government, the private sector and philanthropy in addressing global challenges.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Lecture, Seminar

Science, Tech, & Int'l Affairs Department

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