Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

ATSE Chaikin Oration 2021: The looming global food crisis

The Hon. John AndersonThe looming global food crisis: challenge and opportunity

The Honourable John Anderson AO FTSE 

The Chaikin Oration is presented by the NSW Division of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)

Date: Thursday, 25 February 2021, 12.40pm (AEDT) 
Venue: Zoom Webinar (Registration required)
Entry: No charge

Summary: There is no doubt that the world’s ability to provide enough food for future generations is under stress. The jury is out on changing rainfall patterns, where fertile lands of today may become hostile deserts, whether population growth will continue, and on other impacts which will add to the food pressures. To add to the challenge, there are voices asking for the elimination of methane generating animals, inorganic fertilisers and GM food. Australia is fortunate in having world leading expertise both in food production and on analysis of the threats, and is well positioned to make a vital contribution.

John will inform us on the challenges of the looming global food crisis, both technical and political, and how Australia should respond and is already responding. He will consider:

  • How Governments and leaders need to show direction and leadership on these issues. As has been demonstrated during the COVID19 Pandemic, good policy and practical measures have accrued from blending scientific expertise with pragmatic politics.
  • The agricultural sector is under pressure to come up with answers: Australian agriculture is very capable of developing new practices and technologies to supply enough food to feed a world affected by global influences. What is being done and planned?
  • Responding to the World’s problems and demands will surely create huge commercial opportunities for Australian agriculture, providing the correct decisions are taken.
  • In our more immediate neighbourhood, what is Australia doing for our South East Asian and Pacfic Island neighbours?


The Honourable John Anderson AO FTSE is a sixth-generation farmer and grazier from North- West New South Wales, who spent 19 years from 1989 in the Australian Parliament. This included six years as Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister as a member of the reformist government led by John Howard.  He is Chair of the Crawford Fund, an Australian registered NGO established by ATSE with a focus on global food and nutrition security.

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