Today, I attended a symposium organized by the San Diego Center for Algal Biotechnologies. This symposium started three years ago but has grown each year since then. This year the symposium is three days long and titled “Food and Fuels in the 21st Century”. Professor Kay and Mayfield both framed the relevancy of the symposium by mentioning that the increasing world population, our dependency on limited resources (fossil resources such as oil and phosphates, land and water) which are increasingly becoming scarce, coupled with stresses put on by global warming require an adaptive response by increasing the output of agricultural production to meet the need. Agricultural biotechnologies and algal biotechnologies can provide an answer to the challenges mentioned earlier. With this background, professor Mayfield introduced the first talk.