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How CAS Fellows are Discrediting Agroecology… and Failing at it

The mainstream media often portrays agroecological practices in a belittling way. At best, they are described as utopian; at worst, as damaging to the international economic system. This contributes to the dismissal of these practices as niche and prevents their serious consideration as models for the transformation of agriculture. Thus, it is important to unpack and understand these narratives. In this vein, I analyse how Cornell Alliance for Science (CAS) fellows portray agroecological alternatives and the people who support them.

Cornell Alliance for Science (CAS) is a non-profit organisation. It is mainly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BGMF). The mission of the organisation is to “promote access to scientific innovation as a means of enhancing food security, improving environmental sustainability, and raising the quality of life globally.” They do so through the Global Fellowship program, a 12-week training program that started in 2015. The program claims to train fellows in science communications–but this is really best understood as pro-biotechnology propaganda and support for an increasingly industrialised and corporate global agricultural system..