It was interesting, although hardly surprising, to see a recent article in the agricultural press suggesting a growth in Ag technology coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That is a statement that could be applied to a host of sectors post COVID-19, from the obvious medical research, to the logistics of food distribution, to in-store bio-security and more.
Of course a spike in technology post crisis is very much the norm for humanity. We as a species have always done a rather admirable job of creating solutions to problems through science. When our backs are to a wall science becomes focused on solutions, and is generally rather successful.
While those solutions might be to a rather specific problem, the knowledge gained through the process often opens doors to more discoveries and foster new solutions to a myriad of other issues.
Little discoveries made on the path to creating a COVID-19 vaccine, or treatment, will ultimately be used to aid in the research into other diseases.
Similarly, solutions to the range of problems COVID-19 has thrust on us will go into dealing with other things, once the current situation is under control and the journals filled with new science can be studied and applied to other situations and problems. That is why remaining true to science is so critical to our future. It is our only hope in dealing with whatever crisis we face as a species, whether that crisis be one emerging from the world around us, or one we have created by human blundering.
Recognizing that science is at times our folly as a species, it is also the only avenue to salvation, whether that means a bold new discovery, or simply the creation of enough knowledge that we learn from our mistakes and change our ways toward a better future.
That is why few things are scarier in our world today than the voices railing against science.
To abandon science is to leave us with no base on which to expand our knowledge. It would be a slow and dangerous decline into some new dark age where we have lost sight of how to best assure new solutions to existing and future problems.
The voices against science are of course a curious lot, using as they do social media to rally people to their cause. Few people, especially in Canada and the United States go through a day without utilizing what science has created, from pasteurized milk, to open heart surgery, to electricity, fibre optics, computers, the internal combustion engine, and the list goes on.
Science is not always successful, and not every discovery is as positive as we might hope once in our hands, but it is the place from which our best future can emerge.