The mood in my various messaging groups has been pretty positive over the last couple of days. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris making it over the line in the American Presidential race was pretty much universally celebrated in my world. Although most of my circle wanted Biden to win, that is not to say that they would all be democrats.

I actually think a large contingent of my friends, acquaintances and social media funnel would actually be republicans if they lived stateside and had a vote in the election. It is just that not many of them would be supportive of Trump – republican, democrat, independent or any other party.

Biden victory

With the Biden victory emblazoned across every paper last Sunday morning, I ended up falling into a conversation with a Trump supporter. When he said it, there was a slight moment of awkwardness between us. Of late, with COVID-19, I have not had many conversations with people outside my circle, except for things to do with work. And generally speaking, on ICL interviews the subject of Trump does not come up, so I had not been overly challenged on his merits. This lack of debate is my own personal echo chamber, a place I am looking forward to getting out of when COVID is over.

Anyway, I ventured a “why?” His response was pretty logical, he said: “Well he is the first US president that did all the things that he said he was going to do. You might not have liked them if you didn’t vote for him, but plenty of people did. If we had a Taoiseach who did all the things they said they were going to do, wouldn’t that be good?”

I don’t envy Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, as there is much healing required between red and blue, but I am looking to the future with positivity

Now I can’t stand over the voracity of the claim, but yes, delivery is good – dependent of course on the programme for Government! It’s just that I, personally, don’t agree with many of the things that he did, and even more so the things that he said. And I won’t be convinced that the positives he achieved outweigh the negatives. However, I respect the massive vote he got, which my Trump supporter conversationalist attributed to employment, amongst other things. Most Americans just want to make a living. I don’t envy Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, as there is much healing required between red and blue, but I am looking to the future with positivity.

Science week

In Ireland, this week (8–15 November) is science week. Scientists are one of the groups celebrating the Biden victory and the sciences are one area that I hope that new administration changes its position on. Trump withdrew funding from several science agencies and from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the midst of this pandemic. He also withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, despite America being the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases globally. No matter what our industry does, climate change cannot be solved on our little island alone. We need all the big players around the table for a global solution to be found.

In agri careers this week, Adam Woods has written about the important role science has played in moving the dial for animal production. Science has ultimately enabled us to produce more food. We need scientists for innovation, like Deirdre Hennessy who is working in the VistaMilk programme in Moorepark. We need them to research things, invent things and, right now, cure things.

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