The Scientist And The Spy

Apr 14, 2020

Let’s go back to some news you may remember from several years ago. In 2011, two ethnic Chinese men were seen digging up seeds in a cornfield here in Iowa. When approached, they sped away in a hired car. At first, it was a routine report of trespassing. It quickly grew into a long FBI investigation that uncovered a plot by the Chinese agricultural company DBN, to reverse-engineer seed lines belonging to Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer. 

Mara Hvistendahl spent several years reporting and writing in China before returning to the United States in 2015.
Credit Courtesy of Mara Hvistendahl

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer speaks with Mara Hvistendahl, author of the book "The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, The FBI, and Industrial Espionage." In a starred review, Booklist writes about the book, “Not since Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest has a cornfield produced so much excitement… Hvistendahl makes industrial espionage both understandable and riveting.” 



Mara Hvistendahl, author, "The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI and Industrial Espionage"