CPAS Seminar

CPAS Seminar (Lucy Darragh)

Thursday 22 February features PhD Researcher Lucy Darragh to present her thesis proposal.

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22 Feb 2024 | 12 - 1pm
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Lucy Darragh
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Welcome to the CPAS 2024 Seminar Series!


About the talk --  Framing the Future Harvest: Dynamics and Discourse in Agricultural Biotechnology

Throughout the history of crop development, biotechnological innovations have promised to revolutionise agricultural production and sustainability. Despite these promises, since the development of the first generation of genetically modified (GM) crops, agricultural biotechnology has faced enduring criticism, particularly where outcomes have not aligned with expectations. The complex interplay between the promised advantages and real-world challenges of agricultural biotechnology has driven debate within the scientific community, policy circles and the broader public for decades. The discourse surrounding agricultural biotechnology tends to focus more on the technical details and benefits, and less on the various social, cultural and ethical considerations. Despite these limitations, optimism regarding scientists’ ability to harness biotechnology and deliver the benefits promised, continues to grow and is frequently linked to global efforts to address climate, resource and food crises. How? Why?

Research has utilised framing theory to investigate how rhetorical devices and framing mechanisms shape public perceptions, political discourse, media representation, and decision-making processes. However, few have moved beyond the examination of frame effects to explore the relationship between their implications and the factors (frame dynamics) that moderate them. In particular, how frames emerge and persist, and subsequently condition knowledge and discourse associated with biotechnology has been overlooked. Do scientists, in communicating and representing their work, consciously construct frames or do they passively adopt established frames influenced by existing norms or other external factors? Whose interests serve as the guiding force behind these frames - Is it industry interests, regulatory bodies, public perceptions, public good or a combination of these?

The application of a framing theory lens provides an opportunity to shift research focus from the polarisation between proponents and opponents, to the more careful consideration of previously unheeded recommendations, including the exploration of dynamics between actors and the assumptions that underpin the development of these technologies. Therefore, this research project aims to understand the emergence and impact of frames in defining problems, justifying interventions, and speculating about the future of agriculture and food systems.

About the speaker - Lucy Darragh

Lucy Darragh is a PhD candidate working with the Australian Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, the ANU Research School of Biology and the Australian Research Council Training Centre for Future Crops Development. 

With a career in agriculture spanning over 15 years, Lucy has worked in diverse roles with government, industry and the private sector where she has been consistently engaged at the intersection of science, policy, agriculture and the environment. Most recently, Lucy has been involved in operations and stakeholder management, policy research and advocacy roles where she has managed diverse portfolios and provided technical advice on behalf of organisations including, The Australian Farm Institute, GrainGrowers, CropLife Australia and Kalyx. Lucy has produced a number of journal articles, industry publications and grower resources, and continues to be involved in capacity and capability building initiatives in the Australian agriculture sector. 

To learn more about Lucy:


To join in-person, please come to the 1.30 Green Couch Room, Peter Baume Building 42a

To join virtually, please contact CPAS Admin for details. 


Upcoming events in this series

CPAS Seminar
29 Feb 2024 | 12 - 1pm

Thursday 29 February features PhD Researcher Rita Agha to present her thesis proposal.

View the event
CPAS Seminar
22 Feb 2024 | 12 - 1pm

Thursday 22 February features PhD Researcher Lucy Darragh to present her thesis proposal.

View the event