Busch, Lawrence. Science, Agriculture, and the Politics of Research
Pages 229 and 246
The agricultural sciences developed as part of the expansion of colonial empires and the shift from subsistence to capitalist farming. This origin had the effect of institutionalizing the goal of increased productivity as a central theme in agricultural research. Over the years, increased productivity came to be seen as an end, rather than as a means. Even today, productivity often remains an unchallenged and paramount goal for agricultural research....
Some years ago a noted agricultural scientist wrote: “In our investigations we still stress too much the goal of increased productivity as our great task. We still have too much faith in knowledge of the physical and biological facts and principles as all sufficing. There should be searchings of heart as to our policies and programs. Are they adequate to the needs of the new epoch?” We believe that this question, raised by Kenyon Butterfield in 1917, (1918:54) is still valid today.