Stan Cox, The Land Institute Senior Scientist
Name: Stan Cox
Occupation: Senior scientist, The Land Institute
Place of Residence: Salina, Kansas
Background and Personal History: Stan was a wheat geneticist in the US Department of Agriculture for 13 years before joining The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas as a senior scientist in 2000. When not working as a plant breeder in the field and greenhouse, he has written three books: Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine (Pluto Press, 2008); Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (And Finding News Ways to Get Through the Summer) (The New Press, 2010); and Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing (The New Press, 2013). Since 2003, he has regularly written investigative pieces, op-eds, and other articles for a wide range of Internet and print publications. His articles have appeared in wide range of newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, in 43 states and several countries.
Current Projects: At The Land Institute, Stan works on breeding and development of perennial grain sorghum, for use in ecologically sound perennial food-growing systems. He continues to write about the intersection of environmental, political, and economic issues, most often for Al Jazeera English, AlterNet, CounterPunch, and Green Social Thought. His modus operandi is to take some of the least popular, scariest environmental ideas out there (such as rationing or the elimination of air-conditioning) and weigh their prospects as if they were the most natural things in the world. In doing so, he takes aim at the ecologically unsupportable growth and wealth accumulation that is at the heart of capitalist economies and asks how we might make our species and our civilization viable and more fair over the long haul. He is sometimes labeled a ‘doctor of doom’; however, his goal is to make clear not only our alarming global predicament, but more importantly what we can do resolve it — while getting in a few laughs whenever possible.
Other Fun Facts: The Edible Estates project (2005-2013), created by artist/architect Fritz Haeg, has replaced front lawns in fifteen locations around the world with diverse plantings of food-producing plants. To kick off the project in 2005, Haeg enlisted Stan, his wife Priti Gulati Cox, and their front lawn, to establish what would become “Edible Estate Number 1.” Stan contributed a story about their experience to the book Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn (2nd edition, Metropolis Books, 2010). Their front yard has evolved over the years but remains edible.
More Places to Find Stan on the Web: