Gelia T. Castillo was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist by the President of the Philippines in 1999. For most of her professional life, she was Professor of Rural Sociology at the University of the Philippines at Los Banos and was one of the first appointees to the highest rank of University Professor. She holds an A.B. (Psychology) Degree (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of the Philippines; an M.S. in Rural Sociology from Pennsylvania State University; and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Guided by the maxim that Science must serve a human purpose, her activities as a social scientist centered on agricultural and rural development, including health, gender, environment, poverty, inequality, capacity development; and participatory approaches to research. She has a long list of publications but the most well-known are three books: All in a Grain of Rice; Beyond Manila; and How Participatory is Participatory Development? A fourth book entitled: RICE IN OUR LIFE was released in 2006. She received the Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award in 2004.
She continues to be a Consultant at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and a Senior Research Adviser to UPWARD (Users’ Perspectives with Agricultural Research and Development), a network of Asian researchers engaged in participatory research and development.
(Photo courtesy of IRRI)