With some alarm the author read the headline “Scientists Boring” in Rural News in November 1997 (Keating, 1997). Fortunately for the New Zealand Society of Animal Production the page header was “Grassland Conference”. The article, which started “Agricultural scientists are boring the pants off dairy farmers …”, gradually went further down hill explaining that “The [Ruakura Farmers] conference was ‘old and outdated, inflexible and not meeting their needs. Lectures were long boring and often too theoretical’”. The article’s centrepiece claimed “Farmers agreed it was better to have a good presenter talk about somebody else’s research than to have a poor presentation from a good scientist.” The contracted papers that follow this introductory paper indicate steps that members could take to remedy this situation. First and foremost, the reader will note that the papers in this contract are written in layman’s language, outside the guidelines for scientific writing.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 61, Christchurch, 78-79, 2001
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