Let’s Stand Up for Science
It’s exclaimed in the background of the song by Thomas Dolby, “She Blinded Me With Science.” This exclamation’s popularity has grown into something said at trivia nights when the category is — you guessed it – SCIENCE!
Growing up, I always remember how fascinating science was. It still is for me. In fact, as a youngster, I contemplated becoming a veterinarian, because of my interest in biology, before finally settling on journalism.
As I studied science, I learned and respected it as truth, a given, something unquestionable. For as ever-present as science is in our lives and how vastly different our lives are today than 10, 20, or 30 years ago, it’s disappointing to see how much the scientific community is coming under attack.
Science encompasses many fields of study dependent on facts and data. Whether through experiments, observations, or quantifiable measurements, science benefits you growers directly. Someone somewhere was in a lab or out in an orchard doing experiments and making observations to develop the harvest platforms, sprays, and varieties in your orchard or vineyard today.
I got a chance to tour the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, WV, last year. It’s amazing to see the cutting-edge research being done with potentially big impacts to the way you grow. Some of these will impact you in a few years, some many years from now.
The amount of cutting-edge research being conducted is immense. High-tech breeding of new cultivars, IPM/BMSB treatment plans, UV rays to zap out pathogens, robotic pruners – I could go on and on. These developments are thanks to a robust scientific community.
Think about the developments in the last decade or two: replant-resistant rootstock, IPM, pheromone lures, interspecific cultivars, etc. I can only imagine what’s in store for the industry in the future. Every new chemistry and compound developed in the next generation of crop protection sprays exists thanks to science. When a new threat hits your crops, science is there to help you.
Fruit growing has come a long way in a short amount of time, and it’s in part due to the hard work of the research community. Imagine what would happen if science helps you finally solve the ‘Honeycrisp’/bitter pit problem, end the threat of SWD, or find an answer to red blotch.
Now imagine what would happen if science isn’t there to help you. If you’re a grower, you practice the science of agriculture every day. Stand tall with your brothers and sisters in the research community.
Let’s stand up for science, not against it.