Glenn Davis Stone

Research Professor of Environmental Science

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GDS Headshot

B.A. Northwestern University

Ph.D. University of Arizona

Glenn Stone is an anthropologist and environmental scientist who specializes in food production and agriculture (including both industrial and smallholder/sustainable), politics of technology, indigenous knowledge and decision-making, and science studies.

His current research projects concern the uses and perceptions of CRISPR, effects of digital agricultural technologies on peasant farms, the history of industrial agricultural technologies, and eugenics in the past and present. Among other honors, he has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a Weatherhead Fellow at the School of Advanced Research, and president of the Anthropology & Environment Society. He taught at Columbia University and Washington University for 34 years before coming to Sweet Briar as Research Professor in 2022.

Read the article about Glenn Stone in the Sweet Briar Magazine.


Recent public writing
Recent articles by topic

On Politics of Agriculture

On indigenous knowledge

On food studies

  • 2017 Heirloom Rice in Ifugao:  An ‘Anti-commodity’ in the Process of Commodification.  Journal of Peasant Studies (with D. Glover). For discussion of this work, see Stick It To the Man Rice 
  • 2016 Disembedding Grain: Golden Rice, the Green Revolution, and Heirloom Seeds in the Philippines. Agriculture & Human Values 34(1):87-102. (with D. Glover)
  • 2013 The Trials of Genetically Modified Food: Bt Eggplant and Ayurvedic Medicine in India. Food Culture & Society 16:21-42 (with C. Kudlu). 


On biotechnology in general

  • 2021 Genetically Modified Crops. Oxford Research Encyclopedia.
  • 2020 Golden Rice and technology adoption theory. Technology in Society 60:101227 (with D. Glover and S. Kim).
  • 2010 Anthropology of Genetically Modified Crops.  Annual Review of Anthropology 39:381-400. 
  • 2005 A Science of the Gray: Malthus, Marx, and the Ethics of Studying Crop Biotechnology. In Embedding Ethics: Shifting Boundaries of the Anthropological Profession, ed. L. Meskell and P. Pels, pp. 197-217. Berg, Oxford. 
  • 2002 Both Sides Now: Fallacies in the Genetic-Modification Wars, Implications for Developing Countries, and Anthropological Perspectives. Current Anthropology, 43(4):611-630.

On biotechnology in India

  • 2020 Long-Term Impacts of Bt Cotton in India. Nature Plants: 6:188-196 (with K.R. Kranthi).
  • 2015 Biotechnology, Schismogenesis and the Demise of Uncertainty.  J. of Law & Policy 47:29-49. 
  • 2011 Field vs. Farm in Warangal: Bt Cotton, Higher Yields, and Larger Questions.  World Development 39(3):387-398. 
  • 2007 Agricultural Deskilling and the Spread of Genetically Modified Cotton in Warangal. Current Anthropology 48:67-103. For discussion, see: Ganesh and Brahma bow to a new god (

On science & technology studies of agriculture and biotechnology

  • 2018 Agriculture as SpectacleJournal of Political Ecology 25(1).
  • 2014 Biosecurity in the Age of Genetic Engineering. In Bioinsecurity and Human Vulnerability, edited by Nancy Chen and Lesley Sharp. SAR Press.
  • 2012 Constructing Facts: Bt Cotton Narratives in India. Econ & Political Weekly 47(38):62-70. 
  • 2011 Contradictions in the Last Mile: Suicide, Culture, and E-Agriculture in Rural India.  Science, Technology and Human Values36:759-790. 

On theories of agriculture and agricultural change

  • 2001  Theory of the Square Chicken: Advances in Agricultural Intensification Theory.  Asia Pacific Viewpoint 42:163-180.
  • 1999 (G.D.Stone and C.Downum) Non-Boserupian Ecology and Agricultural Risk: Ethnic Politics and Land Control in the Arid Southwest.  American Anthropologist 101:113-128. 
  • 1997  Predatory Sedentism: Intimidation and Intensification in the Nigerian Savanna.  Human Ecology 25:223-242.
  • 1990 (G.D.Stone, R.M.Netting, and M.P.Stone)  Seasonality, Labor Scheduling and Agricultural Intensification in the Nigerian Savanna.  American Anthropologist 92:7‑23.
Lisu women discuss rice varieties.

Lisu women discuss rice varieties. Northern Thailand. (Credit: G.D. Stone)

Plowing a rice field with buffalo.

Plowing a rice field with buffalo. Andhra Pradesh, India. (Credit: G.D. Stone)

Learning to plow.

A Village India Program student tries her hand at plowing a cotton field in Telangana, India. She had to yell at the bullocks in Telugu. (Credit: G.D. Stone)

Rice farming

Research on rice farming, Mountain Province, the Philippines. (Credit: G.D. Stone)

Festive labor party in Kofyarland, central Nigeria.

Festive labor party in Kofyarland, central Nigeria. (Credit: G.D. Stone)

For more information, please visit my personal website.