[Market-farming] ccd research

Samish Heirlooms Farm info at samishheirloomsfarm.com
Mon Oct 11 14:17:25 EDT 2010


The fallout over the NYT article illustrates a problem endemic in scientific research in general and specifically in agricultural research-----who pays for the research and how much that affects the research results.  Whether a scientist receives money which affects their conclusions is really immaterial because observers will always assume that is the case.  The solution is for the government to pay for the research instead of the stakeholders.

Our federal and state governments started abdicating the responsibility to provide untainted research long before the budget crunches of recent years.  Now research is heavily funded by stakeholders and the stakeholders are not all big multinational corporations.  The environmental/organic community has a stake as well.  They will look askance at results that point away from chemicals used as pesticides or fertilizers as a problem source.  The researchers themselves are stakeholders in some instances because if you have been working for years on a particular hypothesis, it is hard to admit that you have been spent your career going in the wrong direction.

What we need to do is increase government support of research, not jump to conclusions based on incomplete information as the headline writer did and recognize and take into account our own biases. 

Bradley Smith	
Samish Heirlooms Farm
Sedro Woolley, WA


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