© 2021 Iowa Public Radio
IPR20012_Website_Header_Option2_NewsNavy.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Scientist And The Spy

mara_book_cover.jpg
Courtsey of Mara Hvistendahl
/
Mara Hvistendahl's "The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI and Industrial Espionage" begins in an Iowa cornfield.

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. 

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.” 

This program originally aired on April 14, 2020

Guest:

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

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River