Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dow Agro Herbicide in Contaminated Horse Manure

Forefront, the name for Aminopyralid has caused Dow Agrosciences a lot of trouble this year.

The amazing thing is, if it weren't for organic farmers and allotment growers, the whole thing would have not come to light as quickly as it did.

Agroscience. The name is enough to bring on an attack of Global Human Economic Machinitis. What faith can one have in science, when global companies who market herbicides hide behind the name of science in their job of making a profit? Even scientists can rarely hide behind science. The true scientist must always doubt his findings and leave them open to active scrutiny. The true scientist must also alert everyone to the limitations of his findings and his knowledge.

Common sense dictates that new science is untried, untested, and hence should be the most untrustworthy, and subjected to ruthless trials. Here was just one example this year of the limitations of trialling in the agricultural environment. And there are examples every year, and there will be more examples, every year. For such is the role of the scientist in the Global Human Economic Machine (GHEM). The scientist is just a particularly insular and ignorant form of cog in the GHEM. One who performs his job without asking embarrassing questions, then conveniently dies without ever venturing beyond his field (the field in which he is only a serf, not even a tenant).

There are other cogs, who go about sabotaging websites that advertise the embarrassing truth that the scientists didn't reveal.


John said...

It's an interesting if rather demoralising story. Why blame scientists for the lack of communication or the dubious marketing that lies behind the story?

loveandtheplanet said...

No, of course scientists are not directly to blame for the dubious marketing or lack of communication. In this case, scientists are to blame for:
- keeping their jobs in the company
- not insisting to the rest of the company that the product should go through more rigorous field trials before being marketed.

They may not do the actual marketing, but they should seize the responsibility for its actual process. Similarly, the scientists who invented nuclear bombs should not only have taken responsibility for how they were used, but should have apprehended the possible evils arising from their invention.

Too often scientists have been corralled into sheep pens where they are skillfully manipulated by people who are more emotionally intelligent than they. It is so easy to manipulate someone who thinks that they are happy in their job. Battery chickens obviously think they are happy in their job if they have never seen the sky or run around in a field before!

The existing pool of knowledge is a black box system, and a scientist should at least attempt to consider what might come out of it when some new invention becomes an input.