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AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture

The AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture addresses timely topics such as the role that food, agriculture, and natural resources play in providing for a secure food supply and a sustainable economy.

In 2008, the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation (RMF) made a gift to AAAS to endow a Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture at AAAS in honor of Professor Riley's legacy as a "whole picture" person with a vision for enhancing agriculture through scientific knowledge.

Working in collaboration with the RMF and the World Food Prize Foundation (WFPF) — an organization whose fundamental goal is to support efforts toward an adequate supply and availability of nutritious food for the burgeoning world population in the 21st century —the AAAS Riley Lecture is an important opportunity to explore the environmental and societal challenges facing our planet through the lens of agricultural innovation and its applications in a global context.

"…to promote a broader and more complete understanding of agriculture as the most basic human endeavor and... to enhance agriculture through increased scientific knowledge."

Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation
Basic, Riley lecture, riley half, 26 Mar 2014
Charles Valentine Riley Examining an Insect. Undated | Charles Valentine Riley Collection. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, Maryland.


The Lecture is sponsored by the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation; the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service, Forest Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and Mars Incorporated.

2018 Lecture: Does Agriculture have a Parallel Science Problem?

Presented by Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension Specialist in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, University of California, Davis.

Past Lectures

2017 Lecture

Joining Forces to Protect the Future of Agriculture and the Planet

Presented by Robert Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto Company

2016 Lecture

The Role of U.S. Research Universities in Meeting the Global Food Security Challenge
Presented by Randy Woodson, Chancellor of North Carolina State University

2015 Lecture

A University President’s Perspective on the Economic Importance of Pursuing a Unifying Message to Make Agriculture a National Priority
Presented by Steven Leath, President, Iowa State University

2014 Lecture

A Food and Agricultural Research Agenda to Deal with the Asteroids of the Future
Presented by The Honorable Daniel Glickman, Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

2013 Lecture

Food, Feed and Fuel from Crops under Global Atmospheric Change: Could we have it all in 2030?
Presented by Stephen P. Long, Gutgesell Endowed University Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences University of Illinois


2012 Lecture

Why Innovation in Agriculture Matters
Presented by Rob Horsch, Deputy Director for Research & Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


2011 Lecture

Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food
Presented by Pamela C. Ronald, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis
and Co-author of Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food

2010 Lecture

Agricultural Research: Changing of the Guard, Guarding the Change
Presented by Roger Beachy,  then Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)