Genetic Engineering and Society Center

GES Colloquium 

Tuesdays 12-1PM    
1911 Building, Rm 129

Surprise, Ethics, and More Surprise: Collaborative research, indigenous communities, and the transgenic American chestnut

Katie Barnhill-Dilling
Katie Barnhill-Dilling, GES PhD Candidate in Forestry and Environmental Resources




Conventional wisdom generally suggests that (1) ecological restoration and indigenous participation in decisions about genetic engineering are both unquestioned goods, and (2) indigenous peoples broadly oppose genetic engineering on principle. As I have explored how indigenous communities in Central and Upstate New York may perceive the use of a transgenic chestnut for species restoration, I have encountered a number of surprises that may upend some of those assumptions. In this talk, I will open the black box of research to describe my experience conducting research in indigenous communities, and highlight many of the surprises both in the research process and in the results.


Katie Barnhill-Dilling is drawn to the ways in which environmental questions bring together a diverse  range of values, worldviews, and knowledge bases. In the 2014, Katie began her doctoral studies in Forestry & Environmental Resources at NC State, where she investigates how public engagement can foster meaningful inclusion of diverse groups in complex issues, with a particular focus on genetically modified trees.

Katie was a 1 Year IGERT Fellow from 2016-2017, but has worked with the Genetic Engineering & Society Center throughout her doctoral studies. She has been a facilitator and participant in A Roadmap to Gene Drives: A Deliberative Workshop to Develop Frameworks for Research and Governance and the USDA Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence, both incredible opportunities to develop further engagement and facilitation experience. Katie was also a 2016 NSF Graduate Fellow in the Cultivating Cultures of Ethics in STEM project, facilitating focus groups to explore how a variety of stakeholders make sense of responsible innovation.

Katie earned a BA in Anthropology with an Environmental Studies minor from UNC Chapel Hill, a Higher Diploma in World Heritage Management from University College Dublin, and a MA in Environmental Science & Policy from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Looking Ahead

Elliott Montgomery, Assist. Professor of Design at The New School / Parsons and co-founder of The Extrapolation Factory, will be visiting NC State from April 3 - 5 to speak at Colloquium and facilitate the Discussion Group. Elliott is a futures-researcher and strategic designer whose work focuses on speculative alternatives at the confluence of social, technological and environmental impact. He is a former design research resident at the US DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency, Energy. 

If you'd like to join Elliott for lunch after Colloquium, or meet with him during his visit, please contact Sharon Stauffer no later than Fri, 3/30.

Student Spotlight: Sophia Webster

Kudos to Sophia Webster, a GES PhD candidate in Entomology and Plant Pathology, for winning first place at this year's Graduate Student Research Symposium with her poster Gene Drive in the Zika Mosquito Aedes aegypti

See full poster and abstract >

What We're Reading 


A global observatory for gene editing

Nature, 3/21/2018 | Sheila Jasanoff and J. Benjamin Hurlbut call for an international network of scholars and organizations to support a new kind of conversation.

Rethink public engagement for gene editing

Nature, 3/21/2018 | The breadth of social and moral questions raised requires a new architecture for democratic debate, insists Simon Burall.

A Framework for the Risk Assessment and Management of Gene Drive Technology in Contained Use

Van der Vlugt, C.J.B., David D. Brown, D.D., Lehmann, K., et al. 2018. Applied Biosafety, Vol 23, Issue 1, pp. 25-31.

Regulatory Barriers to the Development of Innovative Agricultural Biotechnology by Small Businesses and Universities

CAST Issue Paper, 3/22/2018 | This report examines the current U.S. regulatory system for GE crops, compares it with those of major trading partners, and considers the effects it has on agricultural biotechnology.

Campus Events

Lunch & Learn Seminar: Intellectual Property

Wednesday, March 28 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Talley Student Union, Room 4280
Audience: NC State Faculty - Register

Wade Fulghum, Interim Executive Director, and Kultaran Chohan, Director of Licensing, will facilitate a discussion focusing on OTCNV’s process to evaluate, protect, and commercialize inventions developed by NC State faculty and students and the different programs (e.g. NSF I-CORPS, Chancellor’s Innovation Fund, Sweat Equity Challenge, etc.) it has in place to facilitate and support the formation of NC State startup companies.
Read more >

Bring your own lunch; drinks and dessert provided.

Contact Laura Kroeger with questions.

2018 ORIED Research Retreat

Wednesday, April 11 | 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
McKimmon Conference & Training Center, 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh
Cost: $50.00 - Register

Keynote Speaker: Melissa Marshall

"Research Not Communicated, is Research Not Done"

The Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED) invites you to join us for the 2018 Research Retreat. Hear from university leadership, fellow faculty members, industry partners, research administration staff, and more. Read more >

Contact Laura Kroeger with questions

State of the Sciences 2018: Live! at the Library

Friday, April 13 | 6:00 - 9:00 PM
James B. Hunt, Jr. Library, 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh
Free and open to the public - Register (required)

Join the College of Sciences for a fun, family-friendly event in one of NC State’s most iconic buildings, the Hunt Library on Centennial Campus. The event will feature activities for science lovers of all ages, including hands-on demos, fun and informative talks, tours of the library and its technology capabilities, along with food, wine and NC State beer. The event will be part of the North Carolina Science Festival. Read more >

Seminar: Successful Interdisciplinary Research

Wednesday, April 25 | 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Room 129, 1911 Building, NC State Campus
Register (requested)

Please join this seminar, sponsored by the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Office, on successful interdisciplinary research. Interdisciplinary research has become more important as humanists and social scientists have learned from, and have contributed to, advancements across all realms of science and knowledge. 

Features panel discussion with professors: Fred Gould (GES & Entomology/Plant Pathlogy), Roger Azevedo (Psychology), Bill Boettcher (Political Science), and Laura Taylor (Ag & Resource Economics).

Light refreshments will be served! Full details >

Got something to share with the GES Community?

Submit Newsletter Info
Genetic Engineering and Society Center | Integrating scientific knowledge & public values in shaping the futures of biotechnology.
Colloquium Home
GES News
 You're receiving this email because you have expressed interested in GES Center information. 

Not interested in GES Updates? Click here to unsubscribe from ALL GES emails.
(Center affiliated students and faculty should NOT unsubscribe)

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp