Pitzer College Alumna Sandra D. Mitchell ’73 Addresses the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Claremont, Calif. (February 22, 2012) — Alumna Sandra D. Mitchell ’73, a University of Pittsburgh professor, addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on February 19 during the association’s annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada. The AAAS serves more than 270 affiliated societies and academies of science and publishes the journal Science.

In a presentation titled “GMOs and Policy in a Complex, Diverse World,” Mitchell said that policies regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) need to take biodiversity and regional attributes into account.

“The problem with generating ‘global’ GMO policies is that policy makers are failing to consider the local variations of a particular region,” said Mitchell, who is the chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. “I’m proposing an adaptive policy that’s more in tune with the knowledge we’ve gained about the biodiversity of a specific area.”

Mitchell is widely known for her work on the scientific study of complex structures and associated policy implications. She is the author of Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity and Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

Mitchell majored in philosophy at Pitzer College.

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