Nobel prize winner Norman Borlaug passed away this weekend at the age of 95. His was a full life that was responsible for saving the lives of many from starvation.
Borlaug received the Nobel prize in 1970 for his development of high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat that was grown to prevent famine in the developing world. For the past twenty-seven years he had collaborated with Mexican scientists on problems of wheat improvement; for the last ten or so of those years he also collaborated with scientists from other parts of the world, especially from India and Pakistan, in adapting the new wheats to new lands and in gaining acceptance for their production. An eclectic, pragmatic, goal-oriented scientist, he accepted and discards methods or results in a constant search for more fruitful and effective ones, while at the same time avoiding the pursuit of what he calls “academic butterflies.”
There are not many men and women who can be credited with the title of someone who changed the world, but Norman Borlaug can. His work and humanitrairn soul are a credit to our profession of agriculture. He will be missed, but the fingerprint of his contributions will remain for years to come.