Professor Conrad Lichtenstein is Professor of Molecular Biology at Queen Mary College, University of London. His research group was the first to engineer resistance to virus infections in genetically modified plants.
Lichtenstein says that he is committed to the public understanding of science. He has written newspaper articles in support of GM and engaged in public debate. He was vice chair of the Seeds of Opportunity Conference in London in 2001. The conference, which was chaired by Prof Philip Stott and was described in The Guardian as 'a major biotech fest which was (surprise, surprise) sponsored by the US embassy and attracted many of the world's most vociferous proponents of the technology'.
In 2003 Lichtenstein also took part in the UK's official GM Public Debate . Dr Mae-Wan Ho, a scientist who debated with him on one occasion, noted that he 'introduced himself as a professor of molecular biology' without any mention of the fact that he was a member of CropGen , the biotech-industry funded GM lobby group. Despite this , 'two representatives from Monsanto accompanied Lichtenstein and stayed by his side the whole day, and at a press interview, answered questions on his behalf.' At the end of the meeting, Dr Ho reports , 'one Monsanto rep congratulated Lichtenstein, "You were very good to-day!" We boarded the same train back to London, Lichtenstein and Monsanto reps in first class, I in economy.' Dr Ho has also criticised Lichtenstein's 'abuse of scientific evidence (as well as abuse of scientists)'.