Speaker: Dr. Amanda Maxham, PhD

Speaker: Dr. Amanda Maxham, PhD

12:45pm – 1:15pm

"Why GMOs are a Good Thing"

Dr. Amanda Maxham, PhD

Amanda Maxham is a research associate and writer at the Ayn Rand Institute. She writes, speaks and gives interviews for ARI on topics in science and environmentalism, such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), DDT and pesticides, climate change and energy. 

Dr. Maxham contributes regularly to public education and debate on science-based policy issues. She is a frequent contributor to the Institute’s blog, Voices for Reason, and is managing editor and host of Rise and Fall, ARI’s podcast focusing on ideas that shape the world. She holds a PhD in physics (astrophysics) from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.



  1. Situate genetic engineering within mankind’s long history of food improvement.

  2. Understand the importance of a human-centric approach in judging new food technologies.

Speaker: Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS RDN

Speaker: Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS RDN

1:15pm – 1:45pm

"GMOs: What Dietitians Need to Know"

Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS RDN

Melinda Hemmelgarn, a.k.a. the Food Sleuth®, is an award-winning writer, speaker, and nationally syndicated radio host, with more than 35 years’ experience in clinical, academic, and public health nutrition. Melinda serves on the Boards of Beyond Pesticides and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services, and contributes regularly to Organic Valley’s Rootstock Blog, and ACRES USA, where she explains the health benefits of organic food and agro-ecological farming methods. 



  1. Identify the most common genetically engineered crops, and related food products.

  2. Think critically about each application of genetic engineering to weigh potential benefits and risks.


1:45pm – 2:15pm

Questions and Comments

2:15pm - 2:30pm