[Back Talk] Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater

Departments - BackTalk

November 22, 2013
PCT Magazine

I read Dan Moreland’s September ViewPoint column “Scientists Deserve Our Respect, Not Our Ridicule,” and I couldn’t agree more.

There is a tendency to view scientific research, especially in recent times, with much suspicion and, as Moreland says, ridicule. While there is certainly “junk science” out there, valid scientific inquiry and cautious interpretation of those studies is still critical to advancing human knowledge. I am sorry to say that there are some in our own industry, who, in their rush to discredit all science that makes claims opposing their political and/or personal views, are literally willing to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” But much worse, these individuals grab onto and cherry pick any research that supports their views, and then proclaim all opposing research as junk. They even make statements as though they personally did the research. I wish I could be so convinced and satisfied that my views were always and forever so right! I am so used to NOT being right that I make a habit of saying “According to whoever...” or “This is what is known...”

I have heard some PMPs say they think in-service training and obtaining credits is a waste of time — they already know all there is to know about pest control. Yet I marvel each time I go to Purdue or Kentucky or NPMA how much new there is, and how what we thought was “gospel” for many years is now completely re-explained in totally different ways. This is particularly true about termite research. Termite colonies and their structure, biology and behavior are fascinating and there is much to be discovered about them, as well as most other organisms that we deal with.

I love the story about how the U.S. Patent Office almost closed a century ago because the opinion was that there was nothing more to discover! Thanks again for Moreland’s ViewPoint and for an excellent magazine, as always.

Bob Geltz, ACE
State Termite & Pest Solutions
North Canton, Ohio

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