In honor of Valentine's Day, I wanted to share some of the "love letters from science" that I created for the Cornell Alliance for Science, as well as excerpts from a collection of quotes I compiled that reflect the dedication that many genetic engineers have to making the world a better place.
“I don’t want a future where people are afraid to use the science to get food. I want a future where all the people around the world have enough food and nobody dies from hunger.” — Luis Ventura, a biologist on the faculty of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and an Alliance for Science 2016 Global Leadership Fellow.
“This kind of work is not for the faint-hearted. This kind of work is for people who have a passion to help people. It was in our hearts to make a difference.” — Dennis Gonsalves, a Hawaii-born Cornell University researcher who developed a transgenic papaya resistant to the ringspot virus.
“I’ve always focused primarily on edible crops because I’m interested in helping to feed people.” — Susan Miyasaka, a University of Hawaii agronomist who chose her field after being deeply moved by accounts of global famines while attending college.
“Nitrogen is such a big problem in food production and it’s such a limitation to so many farmers around the world. If I can solve that, and increase food production in Africa, and at the same time remove one of the major pollutants in the world, I’ll be a very happy man.” — Giles Oldroyd, plant scientist at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England, who is working on ENSA: Engineering the Nitrogen Symbiosis for Africa.
“I wanted a job that could help me develop new crop varieties in response to some of the challenges that I had faced as a farmer. That year , people in Uganda died due to lack of food from the drought. I thought God had failed my crops so I could help farmers.” — Clet Wandui Masiga, 2015 Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellow, conservation biologist, geneticist, and farm entrepreneur in Uganda.