On hearing Mr. Berry read a story
Blog Watch: "Berry: Organic Reading"

Interview: "Wendell Berry draws the line"

Wendell Berry (WB): University administrators appear to assume that any research that is adequately funded is good. This is questionable. The standards of research now are conventionally specialized. If the research is chemical or technological, then the standards are likely to be merely chemical or technological. Sponsors of research conventionally ask for workable and marketable results; they conventionally have not asked about the ecological, economic, social and cultural effects. The result is a division, also conventional, between the interests of industry and business and the health of ecosystems and human communities. University research in science and technology has tended strongly to benefit industry and business. Colleges of agriculture in land grant universities, for example, have conventionally served agri-industrial corporations, with results that have been ecologically, socially and culturally devastating — and, incidentally, have reduced the farm population almost to disappearance. We should not forget that one of the aims of industrialization, from the first, has been to replace human workers with machines.

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