Today would have been the hundredth birthday of Norman Borlaug, one of the most important and under-recognized innovators of the 20th century. Borlaug created a new version of wheat that dramatically increased crop yields around the world, and especially in places like India and Pakistan. His innovations prevented famines and may have saved as many as one billion people from starvation.Much as they did in Borlaug’s time, Malthusians today fret that overpopulation is pushing our planet’s resources past the point of collapse. Borlaug’s centennial is as good a time as any to remind ourselves of not only the promise of technological advancements like GMOs, but also the existence of geniuses who consistently surprise us with improvements to our health and quality of life. The Malthusian naysayers will always be with us, but then so too will innovators like Norman Borlaug.
Happy BirthdayAn Important Birthday to Celebrate