Rebecca Harrison is a Ph.D. candidate in science and technology studies at Cornell University. Her research considers how agricultural biotechnologists are deliberate, ethical actors navigating a complex political economy and increasing public concern about genetic engineering and other emerging agricultural technologies. She works with academic scientists to imagine a more reflective type of public engagement around their work. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “Safe Sex for Insects” and other scientist stories: Land-grants, responsibilities, and agricultural (bio)technologies, is supported with funding from the National Science Foundation and from the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture. Upon completion of her degree, she will remain at Cornell as a postdoctoral associate in the Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS), an NSF Science & Technology Center.
Prior to graduate school, Becca received her B.S. in animal science and international agriculture, also from Cornell. Her exposure to biotechnological development at Cornell, time working at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, engagement with the agricultural biotechnology community through various writing positions and online engagement, extensive on-farm agricultural experience, and academic coursework and teaching give her the standpoint necessary to appreciate not only the future role of this technology, but also the need for re-envisioning who gets to meaningfully participate in the deliberative process around it. This webpage chronicles these experiences.