Father of India's Green Revolution to speak at Virginia Tech
September 1, 2009
M.S. Swaminathan, widely known as the Father of India's Green Revolution, will present the keynote address at Virginia Tech’s fifth Outreach NOW conference on Sept. 14.
This year's theme is "Celebrating progress in the internationalization of Virginia Tech."
Swaminathan was a key player in Asia's Green Revolution, the transformation of agriculture in the 1960s that allowed food production to keep pace with population growth. For his leadership in spearheading the introduction of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice to India's farmers, he received the first World Food Prize in 1987.
Swaminathan then collaborated with global leaders and rural citizens to open the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India, in 1988. The foundation seeks to impart a "pro-nature, pro-poor and pro-women" orientation to economic growth strategies in rural areas. It supports innovations in ecotechnology, new methods for community education and technical training, and increased food security and sustainable development.
Swaminathan has won numerous international awards, including the 1994 United Nations Sasakawa Environment Prize, the UNESCO Gandhi Gold Medal in 1999, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award in 2000. Time magazine honored him as one of the 20 most influential Asians of the 20th century. Former United Nations Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar hailed him as "a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of a rare distinction."
The Outreach NOW conference series is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Outreach and International Affairs and the Office of International Research, Education, and Development. Swaminathan's keynote address is titled "Partnership in science and education for protecting food and livelihood security in a warming planet." This year’s conference also will feature a luncheon presentation by International Award winners; a panel discussion titled "Reflections on Internationalization;" a poster display highlighting excellence in international learning, discovery, and engagement; and an afternoon reception.
The conference begins at 10 a.m. at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. The entire conference including the keynote speech is free and open to the public, but participants must register to attend. Registration is open through Sept. 7.