It’s our ball and we’re not going to play

It’s a scandal! The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council have stopped funding research at the University of Minnesota because “the university hurt the farmers’ feelings,” according to the director of the two groups.

How? By discovering that growing biofuel crops on existing farmland may be more damaging to the atmosphere than using fossil fuels. That story has been all over, and we didn’t link to it because it isn’t quite up our main street. But interfering with research in this way affects all of us.

PZ, from whom we picked up this latest twist on the story, sums it up best:

Some people, even prominent, wealthy people, simply don’t understand the fundamental concept of basic research. The goal isn’t to get answers that make you feel good; it isn’t to find ways to rationalize continuing damaging practices; it isn’t even to pat you on the should and salve your delicate feelings. It is to find out the actual answer to a problem, no matter what it may be. Don’t fund research if you’re afraid of the truth.

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