Sunday, September 13, 2009

Norman Borlaug 1914-2009

Whenever I give a lecture on great individuals, or people who my students think of as a hero, the usual response is family members or sports personalities. Then I give mine.
I ask the class, "If someone saved the life of one person, that's a good thing right? That person would be a hero, yes?" Nods of agreement.
"And if you managed to save, say three or four that would be better, yes? Not to diminish saving only one, but more is better, right?" Nods of agreement.

"My hero, Norman Borlaug, is not credited with saving one or two, or even a thousand. He is credited with saving over 200 million lives."

"Who's your hero now?"

At 95 he was still in the fields of war torn and impoverished countries trying to get the people reliable and high yield crops to feed them.

The Rational Moderate.

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