Monday, November 11, 2013

Your Shill- Right Here.

It's late at the end of a four-day weekend here in Florida and I need a little pity-party.  If accusations could be believed I would be heading home from my Monsanto-funded weekend in Fiji, a little payback for my defense of biotechnology.  Hardly. It is a holiday and I just want to go home from my stupid desk.

Frankly, I've had the crap kicked out of me by the anti-GM movement.  I have no ambition to fight anti-science at the moment.  I had the same garbage-gasm after Prop37 died.  What a waste of time and energy.

It's 9 pm on Veteran's Day.  I could eat a baby's butt through a park bench.  UF has not been "open" since Thursday at 5 pm because of homecoming, yet over the last four days I went downstate and met with citrus packers, fixed an autoclave and a centrifuge (all parts paid out of pocket), and spent time with the scientists and students that came to lab all weekend.

Personally, 12 hours ago I left home when the wife went out on a bike ride with our local club.  I would have loved to have gone along, but I came to my office, finished the autoclave fix, and wrote a small proposal for a few bucks for a pilot project to engineer a solution desperately needed by the citrus industry.  I revised a patent submission, reviewed a manuscript for Nature Genetics, ate a bagel, worked with a student, worked on an overdue book chapter, and now I'm revising a really great manuscript for resubmission that has been rejected from four other journals.

Then I read online that I'm just a paid agent for Monsanto, that they fund my lab's research, fund my department, and that I have to get my research approved by them before it is published. What an asshole.

That's me, in my office, 9:30 pm on day four of a four-day weekend, which means I work all the time and just don't have to take a shower or shave. The glamorous life of a Big Ag Shill...

I've missed the gym, running, biking, karate.  Great karate tournament in Perry FL I didn't do and I was going to go with friends to run the Savanna Marathon.  Stayed here in the office instead.  Yes, that's the cushy life of a Big Ag Shill.  Tons of work, missing out on smelling life's roses, just teach and do research. Again, not complaining, but pointing out this rigorous career I'm grateful to have.

But it does make me wonder, why do I waste my limited time with those that argue against science? I like to reach out to the concerned and offer the answers from science.  Instead of a hug they figuratively kick me in the science privates or flip me off.  Still, after all of the professional writing, reviewing, developing, blah blah blah I have to do... why do I have compassion for them?

(and I'm not just talking anti-GMO, we have a strong anti-evolution push in my state too)

I guess when science is so important there's an enhanced desire to share it.  I feel sad for those that don't get it, and are manipulated by others that exploit their scant understanding. I just want a chance to sit down and talk about reality, science, the stuff we do!  I guess that's why I stay plugged in.

Tuesday's almost here.  Gotta get home and get some rest.  Gotta get up and make the science.

A Response to Carey Gillam