Monday, April 29, 2019

Seed School Debacle - Postmortem

Anger and frustration turned to disappointment and sadness.  People asked me why it mattered, why I didn't just let it go and do nothing on a beautiful Sunday rather than teach a class.  Because to me my favorite job is as a teacher. I love to help others understand.

I'm also saddened about the divide that happens when we discuss agriculture. I hate the organic/anti-organic, GMO/anti-GMO, chemistry/hate chemistry divides because they unproductively hurt everybody-- mostly the food insecure. There are real problems to solve, and I'm a huge fan of all tools on the table. I'm trying to heal a divide, and I know I make at least a little progress every time. 

I do feel that being excluded at the last minute was an unfortunate residue of social media, matched with the ammunition provided by others to ensure I was deplatformed.  What was really shocking was the acceptance (and condoning) of this by the MAMYTHS folks, and the silence of the March for Science leadership. I pinged them on this, no response. If a climate scientist was eliminated from a discussion on glacier melting at the last minute it would have been national news. 

How to Fix

So how do we make that difference if we can't speak to such audiences if we are censored from reaching them personally?  It requires exploitation of the same networks they used in the take-down, coupled to pushing content through many levels of media. 

In response to the recent events:

1.  We will hold a Plant Breeding and Genetics for Gardeners and Seed Savers in Fall 2019.  It will be streamed live and also be recorded and distributed on YouTube. 

2.  There will  be an accompanying manual that will be free for download.

These two steps are already well underway, tentatively scheduled for August 31, 2019.  They will be free to the public.

Lemons to Lemonade

Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you respond to it.  I'm going to turn a deplatforming into a stellar event that is helpful and widely appreciated, advancing the mission of helping plant enthusiasts understand plant genetics and modern genetic improvement.