“Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Wall”
A Need to Tear Down the Silos
Gale Buchanan is an agricultural expert, and he’s worried. According to him, walls are going up at a time when communication and cooperation are imperative for agriculture and science. In a recent, thought-provoking essay, he refers to a time “back then” when visionaries recognized a need for the agricultural community to work together. The formation of CAST is an example he uses to highlight the way ag/science groups combined forces to meet urgent challenges as they tore down their insular silos. In the 1970s CAST members began working to find multidisciplinary, multi-institutional perspectives, and those efforts continue today.
However, the overall trend now is different. As Buchanan, the former USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary, says, "I see many scientific societies and disciplines, institutions, and individuals committed to rebuilding the silos -- higher and stronger. It seems we exist within silos in our lives, politics, organizations, and professional societies while at the same time needing to develop comprehensive, integrated solutions to complex problems."
Dr. Buchanan is Dean and Director Emeritus at the University of Georgia, and he spends much of his time and effort promoting common sense solutions to the crucial challenges facing agriculture today. The full text of his two-page essay, Agricultural Science and Technology: Then and Now, is available at the CAST website (click here).