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Advocating For Agriculture on a National Level

Conor McCabe ’18, promoted federal funding for agricultural research and land-grant universities in Washington D.C from March 4th to 7th as the first-ever student selected to serve as a delegate for the Association of Public Land Grant Universities’ Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching. In an interview with The Sun, McCabe talked about the importance of having a current student’s perspective when making funding decisions relating to education and research. “Many of the individuals who previously served on [CARET] were at the end of their careers, but there had never been a point of view of someone who was currently experiencing the land-grant system as a student,” McCabe said. “I had such a unique story to tell that would show the power of the land-grant university system and how my life has been directly impacted by it.”

The motivation behind McCabe’s involvement in D.C. stemmed not only from his academic background, but also from his personal history. The kinds of agricultural programs for which he advocated in D.C. were similar to those from which he had benefited from in his childhood.

This graphic describes how the Hare Lab measures wild spat-on-shell oysters.

New Data on Remnant Oyster Population Could Help Restore the Hudson River

The Hudson River is infamous for being one of the most polluted rivers in America, but its waters have a lot more to them than meets the eye. Estuaries like the Hudson are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, where one can find marine, brackish and freshwater species intermingling in a relatively small area. In the Hudson River, oysters served as the foundation for this rich environment until around 1900, when a combination of overfishing and pollution locally decimated the stocks. Oysters begin their life cycle as small, mobile larvae. As they mature, they seek out a surface to settle on and develop their recognizable shells.

Organized Research Expenditures Jul 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. Source: Cornell University

By the Numbers: Science Research Spending

Ever wondered how much spending is involved in research at Cornell? A Cornell Research report gives light on spending data from 2016-2017 school year. The report broke down spending into two main categories: organized research and departmental research. Organized research, as defined by the report, “represents the research efforts funded by sponsored programs and federal and NYS appropriations and internal solicitations, including formal cost sharing.”

Research that is funded by gifts to departments and with faculty research accounts falls under departmental research, according to the report. Organized research spending accounted for 83 percent of all research spending and $985.5 million was spent in total.

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EDITORIAL | Cornell Owes Answers on Wansink’s Research Blunders

A series of six retractions and several corrections issued by Prof. Brian Wansink, marketing, director of the Food and Brand Lab, is deeply concerning and requires further investigation and explanation from the University. The reputation of Cornell’s research is critical to the success of its students and faculty, and should be a predominant priority of the Administration. Faculty who produce research with inconsistent data or improper methods risk not only their own academic reputations, but those of all their colleagues, students and that of Cornell as a whole. Cornell previously concluded that the errors found in some of Wansink’s research “did not constitute scientific misconduct.” However, the ongoing string of retractions is indicative of a pervasive lack of proper methodology and analysis. Cornell must further investigate the integrity of Wansink’s research findings and provide an explanation for the retractions and corrections — the University must do better than merely referring back to an outdated statement from last October.