Ag research panelists share insight on hot topics

Research_webWhat makes the research you’re doing unique? What are topics for future research? What’s driving your research? How are you getting your research to the marketplace? These are just a few of the questions that three UW-Madison ag research panelists fielded at the recent “What’s Next in University Research” panel discussion held by Badger NAMA at HotelRED in Madison, Wis. on March 20.

Dr. Dominique Brossard, Dr. Daniel Schaefer and Gary Radloff shared their insights on some of the hot topics they are facing in research today. Brossard is a professor and chair of the UW Department of Life Sciences Communication and focuses her efforts on science and risk communication. Schaefer is a professor and chair of the UW Department of Animal Science focusing specifically on beef and animal production. Radloff is a researcher at the University of Wicsonsin-Madison and the Director of Midwest Energy Policy Analysis for the Wisconsin Energy Institute.

The panel was in agreement that what really makes their research unique is the partnerships they have forged between allied industry and the university. These partnerships allow both sectors to tackle issues that might be too complex for one university and/or too complex for one discipline. The movement toward collaborative research can bring together many different areas of basic and applied research.

Brossard, Schaefer and Radloff also discussed the complexity that social media has given communication of research. The three agreed that science doesn’t just “give” you an answer anymore – everyone needs to be more aware of science credentials and culture. Research can very quickly lose battles on social media, so you always need to be checking the fine print for sources, and sources of sources, as not all peer-reviewed research is credible.

Future areas of research amongst the group include genomics, animal welfare, communications of agricultural issues, communicating the adaption of different technology and energy policy.

No matter where their research takes them, we look forward to seeing more from these three panelists and what UW-Madison ag research has to offer!

Be sure to check out the Hoard’s Dairyman blog for their recap of the event.

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