a1 Professor, Department of Sociology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
Several themes emerged from this conference suggesting how science can be better linked to sustainability. Major themes that need to be addressed include: institutions and change; linkages among different groups involved in the food system, from producers through consumers; indicators of sustainability that encompass “quality of life”; changing the behavior of farmers and researchers to make agriculture more sustainable; and new approaches to research that are suited to alternative agricultures. Throughout the conference these themes were developed as farmers, researchers, and others exchanged their diverse viewpoints and experiences. These viewpoints are reflected both in the formal papers published in this issue and in the comments of panelists that I will draw on in trying to convey the major themes of the conference.