Dr. Savage: A Good Source of Information
Dr. Steven Savage is a plant pathologist with many years of agricultural technology research experience. He has worked for DuPont, Mycogen, and Colorado State University. So, he knows what he is talking about with regard to agricultural science. But, what is equally important is that he knows how to communicate his knowledge to the public and that he does so in as balanced a manner as possible.
Take, for example Dr. Savage’s article on inadvertently creating a superweed. Not a good thing one would think. But, the purpose of this analysis is not to assess the merits of biotechnology, but to show that Dr. Savage’s writing has all the marks of good science and none of the marks of bunk science.
1. Dr. Savage does not claim to prove anything. He gives the facts and lets the reader decide for themselves. In conversation with AITSE’s president Dr. Crocker, he did the same, stressing that scientists are comfortable with uncertainty. In fact, he said that, “its what you know for certain that keeps you from learning.”
2. Dr. Savage is careful to be scientifically accurate in what is claimed and does not make grandiose claims. In fact, just the opposite. “…we knew that if we solved this problem we weren’t saving the world…”
3. Dr. Savage does not put anyone down nor does he build himself up. He just explains what a superweed is and how one was made.
4. And of course, he does not ask you to buy his product!
AITSE readers may not always agree with Dr. Savage’s conclusions, but he does provide a good example of balanced reporting of scientific information. And that is what AITSE is all about. AITSE applauds Dr. Savage’s efforts in education of the public on controversial topics in science and recommends his blog for your reading pleasure.