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Upcoming science-related events in Minneapolis, St. Paul

Here are some local science-related events coming up within the next few days.

Learning from China’s food system

China faces the challenge of feeding 22 percent of the world’s population on 9 percent of its arable land. What does this really mean for China’s farmers, the environment and the world?

And what can we learn from China’s experience as we grapple with challenges of development, environment and hunger?

Jim Harkness, who lived and worked in China for 16 years, will examine the challenge of feeding China and explain why, despite two decades of dire warnings, China’s growing appetite has not brought famine to the rest of the world…yet.

Harkness is president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis.

His talk, part of the Institute on the Environment’s fall 2010 Frontiers lecture series, is scheduled for noon to 1 p.m., Nov. 17, at 380 VoTech Building, 1954 Buford Avenue, St. Paul.

The road from Copenhagen

Since last year’s Copenhagen climate change conference, the world has undergone wrenching political and economic changes that could affect climate policy in the future.

Against that uncertain backdrop, environmental law Prof. Daniel Bodansky of the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law is coming to Minneapolis to speak about the outcomes of the Copenhagen conference.

Bodansky will examine: Was it a success or failure? And what are the prospects for the United Nations climate-change regime going forward? Is an upcoming conference in Cancun this December likely to do better than Copenhagen? What are the chances for a new legal agreement on climate change, either to supplement or replace the Kyoto Protocol?

Bodansky has received a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, a Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs and a Jean Monnet Fellowship from the European University Institute in Florence. He currently serves on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and is the U.S.-nominated arbitrator under the Antarctic Environment Protocol.

His lecture is the second in the 2010-11 Lecture Series on Law, Health & the Life Sciences on “From Climate Change to the Gulf Oil Spill: Law and Science in Times of Crisis.” It is sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences.

The lecture, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Nov. 17 in the Mississippi Room at Coffman Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. More information is available here.

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