Two of our neighbors when we lived on our farm were scientists: Ivan, a retired Ph.D. plant pathologist of some renown from UC Davis, and his wife Evelyn (a microbiologist and extremely well-read person). These nice people hosted us to several delightful lunches, tours of their garden and orchards. Ivan had spent a lifetime living around the world, studying and developing populations of wheat, bananas, soybeans and garlic, having done his masters on, of all things, holly. We considered both Ivan and Evelyn to be good friends and wise people, indeed!
While we walked among his ancient apple trees, I asked Ivan what he thought of gene manipulation. He answered without hesitation, “They aren’t looking at the whole population.” I couldn’t help thinking of this marvelous friend when reading about who’s in charge of gene manipulation today. I am hoping, but I’m afraid it is not the likes our two wise friends.