Dr. Channapatna Prakash, professor of plant genetics and biotechnology at Alabama's Tuskegee University, on Thursday was selected as the 2015 Borlaug Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Communications Award winner.
Prakash, specialist in the field of plant genetics and biotechnology, was instrumental in establishing the plant biotechnology research and training program at Tuskegee University. He has a long list of influential publications and presentations, having presented his messages about agriculture in more than 70 countries.
Officials at the Ames, Iowa-based Council on Agricultural Science and Technology or CAST, noted that through teaching, research collaboration, and lectures, Prakash has worked especially hard to promote biotechnology research and policy in the developing countries of Asia and Africa.
As one CAST Communication Award nominator pointed out, Prakash's position involves research and teaching, but he has "arguably done more than anyone else in academia or industry to promote agricultural technologies that can help feed the world's growing population."
Educated in India and Australia, Prakash has a strong connection with those who have made an impact on global food production. Norman Borlaug once praised him for "bringing common sense into the use of biotechnology," and Julie Borlaug Larson says that Prakash is "dedicated to utilizing science and technology to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world's most impoverished and marginalized populations."
Many have emphasized Prakash's ability to communicate to "every kind of audience... in every medium available."
He uses social media (his Twitter handle is @agbioworld), radio/TV interviews, and other methods to emphasize the potential of agricultural technology. As a colleague said, "He is one of the strongest and most consistent voices countering the spread of misinformation."
Prakash has received numerous honors in the past and now can add the 2015 Borlaug CAST Communication Award to his credits.
An award presentation will occur at a breakfast side event cohosted by DuPont and CAST at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 14.
The Borlaug CAST Communication Award honors the legacies of Nobel Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug and Dr. Charles A. Black, the first president of CAST.