For those wanting to civilly engage or ask questions of a Monsanto scientist on a reddit AMA:
26 June, 2015 Friday
For those of you who aren't aware, tomorrow's Science AMA is with Dr. Fred Perlak of Monsanto, a legit research scientist here to talk about the science and practices of Monsanto.
First, thanks for your contributions to make /r/science one of the largest, if not the largest, science forums on the internet, we are constantly amazed at the quality of comments and submissions.
We know this is an issue that stirs up a lot of emotion in people which is why we wanted to bring it to you, it's important, and we want important issues to be discussed openly and in a civil manner.
I approached Monsanto about doing an AMA, Monsanto is not involved in manipulation of reddit comments to my knowledge, and I had substantial discussions about the conditions we would require and what we could offer.
We require that our AMA guests be scientists working in the area, and not PR, business or marketing people. We want a discussion with people who do the science.
We offer the guarantee of civil conversation. Internet comments are notoriously bad; anonymous users often feel empowered to be vicious and hyperbolic. We do not want to avoid hard questions, but one can disagree without being disagreeable. Those who cannot ask their questions in a civil manner (like that which would be appropriate in a college course) will find their comments removed, and if warranted, their accounts banned. /r/science is a serious subreddit, and this is a culturally important discussion to have, if you can't do this, it's best that you not post a comment or question at all.
Normally we restrict questions to just the science, since our scientists don't make business or legal decisions, it's simply not fair to hold them accountable to the acts of others.
However, to his credit, Dr. Perlak has agreed to answer questions about both the science and business practices of Monsanto because of his desire to directly address these issues. Regardless of how we personally feel about Monsanto, we should applaud his willingness to come forward and engage with the reddit user base.
The AMA will be posted tomorrow morning, with answers beginning at 1 pm ET to allow the user base a chance to post their questions and vote of the questions of other users.
We look forward to a fascinating AMA, please share the link with other in your social circles, but when you do please mention our rules regarding civil behavior.
Thanks again, and see you tomorrow.