Free public lecture on February 18: "The Race to Grow Enough Food for Everyone”

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A free public lecture titled "The Race to Grow Enough Food for Everyone" will be given by Jonathan Lynch, distinguished professor of plant nutrition at Penn State, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus. The event is the fifth of six consecutive Saturday lectures in the 2017 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a free public minicourse that does not require registration or exams.

The overall theme of the 2017 lecture series is "The Quest for One Healthy Planet." The six speakers are scientists whose research is at the frontiers of knowledge about how the health of the Earth is affecting the health of people and other forms of life on our planet.

During his lecture on Feb. 18, Jonathan Lynch will describe how he is leading a new wave of food-crop research with the goal of finding effective ways to provide enough nutritious food for everyone with limited use of fertilizer and irrigation water. Because most soils on Earth suffer from drought and one or more nutritional problems, the research led by Lynch is of considerable importance for two of the great challenges confronting humanity: how to sustainably support over seven billion people, and how to deal with global environmental change. Using traditional breeding techniques, his team has developed a protein-rich bean plant that produces three times the yield of typical varieties grown on infertile soil. During the lecture, he will show how such new varieties of stress-tolerant crops are an important key to achieving global food security.

Some of the recognitions Lynch has received in honor of his research achievements include election as a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America in 2004, and induction into the Mexican Academy of Sciences as a Distinguished Professor in 2005. Among his awards are the inaugural Dundee Medal in 2015 from the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee in Scotland; and the China Friendship Award — the highest recognition awarded to foreigners by the government of China — which he received from Premier Zhu Rongji in Beijing in 1999.

The next and final lecture in the 2017 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science will be given by Gregory D. Bossart, senior vice president for animal health, research and conservation at the Georgia Aquarium, titled "Marine Mammals as Health Sentinels for Oceans and Us."

The Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science is an annual free public minicourse organized and supported by the Penn State Eberly College of Science as an enjoyable and enlightening learning opportunity for eager learners in the Central Pennsylvania area and beyond. After presentation, the lectures are closed captioned and then archived online for viewing worldwide. More information about the Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science and links to archived videos of previous lectures are online at

For more information or access assistance, contact the Eberly College of Science Office of Communications by phone at 814-863-4682 or by e-mail at

Last Updated February 22, 2017