The production of food is the most fundamental of human economic activities. Dr. Bina Agarwal, one of the featured speakers for Nobel Conference 46, "Making Food Good," examines how social institutions, politics, and gender roles affect food production and those who derive their livelihood from it. She combines the rigor of an analytical economist with the passion of an activist to seek to understand and improve the lives of millions. A scientist at her core, she is skeptical until empirical verification is available, and doesn't even trust her own models until they have been tested by experiment or observation. Her devil's advocate approach, persistence, and thoughtful integration of theory and action, of economics, politics, agriculture, and technology, have paid off for the women of India, indeed for everyone in India, with the revision of Indian inheritance laws to provide men and women equal access to property.
Dr. Agarwal is currently director and professor of economics at the Institute of Economic Growth , Delhi University. While based at Delhi University, Dr. Agarwal has held positions at many of the world's most prestigious universities, including the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Agarwal's writings are numerous, with a diversity of style, audience, and subject matter that is exceedingly rare in the highly specialized world of academia. They include books (9), journal articles (70+), and even published poems, not to mention numerous articles and commentaries written for a general audience. First published in 1994, A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia earned widespread acclaim for its thorough interdisciplinary analysis of women's poverty and property rights in South Asia. Her latest book, Gender and Green Governance, examines how an increased role for women in forestry management institutions could impact the use of these resources.
We hope that you can join us to hear more from Dr. Agarwal at Nobel Conference 46 on October 5 & 6, 2010.
Economics and Management and Environmental Science