March for Science Excerpt

…Scientific advances are still being made every day on this campus, whether they are in power transmission, supply chain logistics, wastewater treatment, music cognition, cancer treatment, or some other field. Last year, University faculty were issued ten new patents and filed for 26 more. But science isn’t just about inventing things in isolation. It’s also a way of life – something that unites people in a common purpose. Science, as rooted in our land grant mission, is something you share with other people to improve their lives.

For instance, approximately sixty years ago Dr. Paul Noland, a professor of animal sciences, spent two years in Panama while establishing an animal research program. In so doing, he helped the University of Arkansas become the first U.S. land grant institution in the country to establish a foreign agricultural mission. Dozens of U of A professors participated in the program by the time it formally ended in 1957. That program has served as a foundation for the 60-year relationship between Panama, the Division of Agriculture and the Bumpers College. Dr. Noland’s efforts exemplify the unique power of science to transcend borders, politics, language, or whatever else may separate or divide people, and instead bring them together

In its purest practice, sciences seeks to increase and spread knowledge, improve health and safety, and reduce costs and labor. Some of our greatest ambassadors – as a university, as a state, and as a country - are scientists like Paul Noland who have no greater agenda than to share what they know and be of service. Not that that impulse is limited to scientists. There is no shortage of examples of our faculty contributing to the greater welfare of Arkansas, not just to meet the requirements of their faculty appointment or our overarching land-grant responsibilities, but out of a genuine desire to use their knowledge to improve the condition of humankind in whatever way they can. In so doing, they fulfill the higher purpose of science and the pursuit of knowledge. I can’t stress enough how important research and discovery is to this country and how devastating it could be if, as a country, our support for science declines.

Advances, like I described above, would grind to a halt and the real losers will be all of the citizens of this great country—and just not the scientists. Progress depends on research and research depends on funding and continued opportunities.