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UCD-EPSO symposium: Can we feed the 9 billion people or will we starve?, ESOF 2012, Dublin (IE), July 2012

Programme & Announcement


By 2050 the global population is expected to reach 9 billion, with the majority of this increase in the developing world. In order to feed these people it is estimated that a historically-unprecedented rise in food production of at least 50% will be needed. The question is how can we do this, when we cannot adequately feed the ~1 billion people who are starving today?

The symposium assembled some of the foremost experts involved in meeting the challenge of tackling global hunger. Two internationally renowned scientists - Bill Davies and Jonathan Jones- addressed key challenges of how to enhance food production in the face of limiting water supplies and the increased threats of pests and diseases. Bill Davies is an expert in water use by crops and Jonathan Jones is a key player in the development of disease resistance in plants. Chris Leaver, is Emeritus Professor at Oxford University and currently engages in public understanding of science, particularly issues associated with food security. Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern, will talk on hunger and poverty in developing countries. 

Read the session report of the session 'Can We Feed the 9 Billion or Will We Starve?', by Karin Metzlaff (EPSO) and Bruce Osborne (University College Dublin, IE


Chair: Bruce Osborne, University College Dublin, IE

  • Achieving Food Security and Sustainability for Nine Billion, Chris Leaver, University of Oxford, UK
  • The Water and Food Connection: Exploitation in agriculture of the plant biology underpinning crop yielding and water saving under drought, Bill Davies, Lancaster University, UK
  • Elevating pest and disease resistance in crops, Jonathan Jones, The Sainsbury Laboratory, UK
  • Global issues and the developing world, Tom Arnold, CEO Concern

Presentations are available upon request

Organisers: Bruce Osborne, Paul McCabe, UC Dublin & Karin Metzlaff, EPSO

Sponsors: School of Biological and Environmental Science, UCD; New Phytologist; EPSO; Royal Irish Academy; Euroscience Ireland

Printed from on 17/11/18 09:52:22 AM

EPSO is an independent academic organisation currently representing 61 institutional members bringing together more than 204 research institutes, departments and universities from 29 countries in Europe and beyond.