Food Biotechnology Citizen Conference
March 5 - 7, 1999
Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary
Calgary, Canada



The purpose of the citizen conference is to bring together divergent views on food biotechnology using a public participation mechanism called the citizen conference. In Europe, this process has been called the consensus conference. A panel of lay citizens will set an agenda and discuss with a panel of experts matters they find important to influence the direction of food biotechnology in Canada. The lay panel writes a report which will be presented at the conference and forwarded to seven federal ministries responsible for the policy our government sets on food biotechnology. The conference will be open to both interested members of the public and the media.

The Citizen Panel

The 15 members of the citizen panel were selected from over 350 volunteers all over Western Canada who were interested in learning about and participating in a public discussion on food biotechnology. During September, 1998 we ran announcements in urban and rural newspapers, on radio and community cable channels calling for participants. Individuals were asked to submit a one page letter introducing themselves and why they would like to be part of the conference. Those affiliated with a biotechnology organization, industry or advocacy group were not eligible. The citizen panel was chosen at the end of October, 1998.

The Expert Panel

An expert pool will be short listed by the citizen panel. These experts include scientists in biotechnology and industry, government and NGO representatives. The participants of the expert panel will be posted at this site by February 15, 1999.

The Panel Questions

The citizen panel formulated their questions for the conference resource experts at the February preparatory weekend in Calgary. Here are the questions divided into six thematic areas of inquiry.

The Conference Program

The Conference Planning Team - How to Contact Us

The Advisory Committee

International Citizen Conferences

To register for the Conference, email us at: gedesign@ucalgary.ca

Registration is also available at the door:

General Public - $10.00/day or $20.00/weekend; Non-Profit Organizations - $30.00/day or $75.00/weekend; Government - $50.00/day or $125.00/weekend; Corporate - $100.00/day or $250.00/weekend.

Our thanks to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Alberta Agriculture Initiatives, and The University of Calgary for the resources to make this conference research project possible. This web site is a research project investigating the efficacy of using computer information technologies as a public participation mechanism in Canada.

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modified: February 09, 1999