The Narrow Border Between Science and Magic

May 24
The Narrow Border Between Science and Magic Guest Blogger Nicole Small - A Kansas Farm Mom

Guest Blogger Nicole Small - A Kansas Farm Mom
When I was invited to attend the Alltech Symposium Glimpse 2020, I jumped at the chance.  I really didn’t know what to expect, but I have been interested in learning more about the company for some time.  I was not disappointed and was energized right from the opening session to think outside my normal thinking and really start to question things.

Dr. Eugenia Wang, Alltech Medal of Excellence award winner’s presentation on Micro RNA really got me thinking in the opening session.  I am not going to say that I understood everything she covered in her presentation, as I am not a scholar of science, but agreed fully with her when she said in order to look ahead, we must look to where we came from.  It’s all about a never ending curiosity where we will find the next breakthrough in science.

There has always been a very narrow border between science and magic.  Imagine if you lived when Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas Edison were making their great discoveries.  The telephone and the light bulb probably seemed magical to common people in the 1800’s.  I do believe when my kids graduate from college, they will fully understand the workings of micro RNA and there will be other discoveries that haven’t even been dreamed which we could only perceive as magical today.  Right now, it seems magical to me that we have found the “dimmer switch” or “control towers” to RNA and we may be able to control them in the near future.

Alltech appears to be one of those companies that are on the lookout for the next “mystical” scientific discovery that will improve the health of livestock and ultimately the consumer.  As farmers and ranchers, we must always remember that we raise food for the consumers, whether they know where their food comes from or not.  Ultimately, we are responsible for the health of a nation and the world.  We must produce what the consumer needs for their health and longevity.

Thank you Dr. Wang, Dr. Lyons and the other contributors for reminding me that we must continue to question everything and keep looking for ways to make our production more efficient and possibly with different nutritional end values.

Thank you for the opportunity to attend the Alltech Symposium Glimpse 2020.  Even on the flight out of Lexington, my chance seating assignment next to Dr. Patrick Wall challenged my thinking.  Our discussions have inspired me to look at some of the ideas from the conference in a different light.  I was so impressed with the openness of everyone to talk to anyone.  I had some great discussions with several of the contributors who did not think twice about speaking about production to a female farmer and rancher from Kansas.

- Nicole Small

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