Science on Tap-Minocqua to Discuss the Benefits and Risks of GMOs

One of the hottest topics surrounding the food we eat these days is what to think about GMOs. Some groups claim they create “Frankenfoods,” while others say they’re our best bet for feeding the world.
Science on Tap-Minocqua, the popular monthly science café series, will help answer some questions about this contentious yet indispensable tool of modern agriculture on Wednesday, December 7th at 6:30pm as Joe Lauer, a professor of agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, joins us for a conversation on the pros and cons of transgenic technologies.
“Corn is the largest cash crop in the state,” Lauer says, “and one of the things I do is help evaluate up to 550 different corn hybrids each year.” The talk, he says, will pull from this experience and touch on many aspects of GMOs – like the advances in farmer safety and crop efficiency they make possible as well as consumer backlash and the high costs of these technologies in an industry where farmers are often working under slim profit margins.
lauer-joeWhile he’s had plenty of experience giving talks across the state, Lauer is excited for the more casual atmosphere that Science on Tap-Minocqua offers.
“Usually I’ve got a PowerPoint presentation,” he says, “but I’m just going to talk and answer people’s questions and it should be fun.”
Susan Knight, interim director of the UW-Madison Center for Limnology’s Trout Lake Station and one of the organizers of Science on Tap-Minocqua, says that the “casual” environment has been a huge selling point of the event.
“Science on Tap-Minocqua is an extension of the Wisconsin Idea,” she says. “We bring in experts to start a conversation with not only people who live here in the Northwoods but also anyone who is watching online so that they can actually join a conversation about important topics. It’s not a lecture, it’s a conversation where audience members know they can bring questions and have them answered.”
Knight says she expects that GMOs are a topic that will be of interest to a lot of people and hopes that people will come away from their time spent with Lauer with a better understanding of how GMOs work and what the true risks and benefits are.
Science on Tap-Minocqua is sponsored by the UW-Madison’s Kemp Natural Resources Station and Trout Lake Station and the Lakeland Badger Chapter of the UW Alumni Association, the Minocqua Public Library and, of course, the Minocqua Brewing Company. The talk begins at 6:30pm on Wednesday, December 7th upstairs in the Minocqua Brewing Company’s Divano Lounge. Audience members who come early for dinner can mention Science on Tap to receive 10% off their meal. Anyone wanting a less crowded venue can watch the event live and ask questions either at the Minocqua Public Library or online.
Media Contacts:
Susan Knight:, 715-356-9494
Joe Lauer:, 608-575-0731
Watch SOT-Minocqua Online: