Jennifer Kuzma

Goodnight-North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Genetics Engineering and Society Center, North Carolina State University

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About Jennifer

Kuzma’s work focuses on the interactions among science, technology and society, particularly the governance of emerging technologies. As a subset of this work, she is interested in public and stakeholder engagement in decision-making about emerging technologies, such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Kuzma regularly works with science museums as a speaker and participant in their science cafes, public forums, and meetings on technology and society, and she serves as an adviser to several public agency groups. She also serves on the Food and Drug Administration’s Blood Product’s Advisory Committee.


In the News

Jennifer Kuzma's research on regulation of gene-edited crops discussed by Ashley P. Taylor, "Companies Use CRISPR to Improve Crops," The Scientist, February 1, 2019.
Jennifer Kuzma's research on genetically modified foods discussed by Caitlin Dewey, "The Future of Food," The Washington Post, August 11, 2018.
Jennifer Kuzma quoted by Aki Ito, "This Man Rewrites the Genetic Code of Animals" Bloomberg, July 19, 2018.
Jennifer Kuzma quoted on pesticide resistance, "Pesticide Resistance Needs Attention, Large-Scale Study" Phys.org, May 17, 2018.
Jennifer Kuzma quoted on regulations for gene-edited crops by Paul McDivitt, "USDA Scraps Overhaul of GMO and Gene Edited Crop Regulations That Biotech Advocates Viewed as ‘Unscientific’" Genetic Literacy Project, November 7, 2017.
Jennifer Kuzma quoted on regulating gene-edited products by Kelly Servick, "Trump’s Agriculture Department Reverses Course on Biotech Rules" Science Magazine, November 6, 2017.
Guest to discuss hornless cows on Genetic Literacy Project, Jennifer Kuzma, October 20, 2016.
Jennifer Kuzma quoted on revising outdated biotech regulation by Nash Dunn, "Mosquitoes, Zika and Biotech Regulation" NC State News, September 16, 2016.
Guest to discuss designing safety into genetically modified organisms on National Public Radio, Jennifer Kuzma, January 21, 2015.
Jennifer Kuzma quoted on new agricultural practices escaping regulation by Andrew Pollack, "By ‘Editing’ Plant Genes, Companies Avoid Regulation" New York Times, January 1, 2015.
Jennifer Kuzma's research on the presence of nanotechnology or genetic modification in foods discussed by Matt Shipman, "Nutrition, Safety Key to Consumer Acceptance of Nanotech, Genetic Modification in Foods," Phys.org, December 2, 2014.
Guest to discuss “Genetically Engineered Foods” on MPR’s Midmorning with Kerri Miller, Jennifer Kuzma, November 2006.
"Take a Nanooze Break," Jennifer Kuzma, Interview with Epcot Center staff, used in exhibit on nanotechnology, Walt Disney World, February 2010.
Jennifer Kuzma's research on the direction of science policy and the list of “key unanswered questions” discussed by Daniel Cressey, "The ‘Most Important Questions’ in Science Policy Shortlisted," Nature, March 9, 2012.
Jennifer Kuzma's research on the USDA’s decision to secretly allow companies using genetic modification techniques to sidestep regulatory oversight discussed by Emily Waltz, "Tiptoeing around Transgenics," Nature Biotechnology, March 7, 2012.
"A Biotech Road Map?," Jennifer Kuzma, Interview with Gwyneth K. Shaw, New Haven Independent, December 10, 2010.
Jennifer Kuzma's research on public perception of genetically modified foods vs. nanotechnology discussed by Andrew Schneider, "Why Nanotech Hasn't (Yet) Triggered 'The Yuck Factor'," AOL News, March 24, 2010.
"Nanotechnology: Revolution and Pollution," Jennifer Kuzma, Interview with Steven Higgs, The Bloomington Alternative, June 28, 2009.
"As Nanotechnology Hits the Marketplace, Safety is a Growing Issue," Jennifer Kuzma, Interview with Jim Dawson, Minneapolis Post, May 14, 2009.
Interview on nanotechnologyJennifer Kuzma, Earth&Sky Radio, March 16, 2009.
Jennifer Kuzma's research on corporations' use of nanotechnology discussed by Barnaby J. Feder, "Engineering Food at Level of Molecules," New York Times, October 10, 2006.


"Hungry for Information: Public Attitudes toward Food Nanotechnology and Labeling" (with Jonathan Brown). Review of Policy Research (forthcoming).
Reports on public attitudes toward food nanotechnology and labeling in the United States. Was the first study in the U.S. to use dialogue-based research to discover what people think about different types of food nanotechnology products and how they would like to see them governed. Important theoretical contributions to risk perception of emerging technologies are also presented.
"Nanotech Oversight, Voluntary Data Submission, and Corporate Social Performance: Does Company Size Matter?" (with Aliya Kuzhabekova). Journal of Nanoparticle Research 13, no. 4 (2011): 1499-1512.
Takes a careful look at the participation of companies in a voluntary EPA program for nanotechnology governance. We took a close look at the quantity and quality of data submitted for assessing safety and discovered that older and larger companies participated more, and claimed less information as “confidential business information”. We also review policies and programs that could help encourage companies to participation in voluntary governance programs as a part of corporate social performance.
"The ‘Revolving Door’ between Regulatory Agencies and Industry: A Problem That Requires Reconceptualizing Objectivity" (with Zahra Meghani). Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24, no. 6 (2011): 575-599.

Argues that regulatory agencies would be more, not less, objective with the consultation of groups and citizens outside of industry and regulatory agencies. We draw upon the notion of “strong objectivity” and a reconceptualization of objectivity.

"Unpacking Synthetic Biology for Oversight Policy" (with Todd Tanji). Regulation & Governance 4 (2010): 92-112.
Analyzes governance for synthetic biology and presents a new typology of products for thinking in more nuanced ways about our approach and values in oversight. Makes an argument for “unpacking” synthetic biology in such ways so that conversations about governance can move forward.
"Evaluating Oversight Systems for Emerging Technologies: A Case Study of Genetically Engineered Organisms" (with Pouya Najmaie and Joel Larson). Journal of Law Medicine and Ethics 37, no. 4 (2009): 546-586.
Uses a multi-criteria and stakeholder elicitation approach to evaluate the oversight system for genetically engineered organisms and draw lessons for emerging nanobiotechnology products. Describes a new and more holistic approach to evaluating oversight systems – one based not only on “scientific risk” and cost-benefit – named “integrated oversight assessment” as a subset of anticipatory governance.
"Upstream Oversight Assessment for Agrifood Nanotechnology" (with James Romanchek and Adam Kokotovich). Risk Analysis 28, no. 4 (2008): 1081-1098.

Uses a database and case-study approach to analyze potential future agrifood nanotechnology products, governance and policy issues. Describes “upstream oversight assessment” as a subset of anticipatory governance. Anticipatory governance and UOA are designed to prepare for, not predict, futures of technological governance.