The new green revolution: Bridging the gap between science and society

Louise O. Fresco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


By combining scientific excellence with social involvement, M. S. Swaminathan has put himself in the tradition of the great agricultural researchers such as Von Liebich, Vavilov, De Vries, Haber and his friend and colleague Norman Borlaug that have defeated the Spectre of Malthus. His ability to use his knowledge and insights to find solutions for complex social problems made him one of the founding fathers of the Green Revolution. And one of the first that saw the drawbacks of the extensive use of water, fertilizer and pesticides that came along with it. He became a staunch advocate for the Evergreen Revolution towards an eco-friendly, resource-poor, sustainable agriculture that is based on science and technology and aims for nutrition security for all. Challenged with the perspective of feeding 9 or 10 billion people with sufficient and nutritious food and producing enough raw materials for the developing bio-based economy we have to keep on learning by doing research and combining its results with the experience of farmers and others. Yet there seems to be a lack of belief - at least in Europe - in human learning; a general distrust in science, which might lead to paralysis in agricultural development. Hence the biggest challenge is to bridge the gap between the sciences and society and to engage society in the development of science to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-438
JournalCurrent Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Agricultural yield revolution
  • Burgeoning population
  • Evergreen revolution
  • Social contract of science
  • Swaminathan in wageningen


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