View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 1.

Example pre- and post-course responses to the open-ended survey question: “Ideally, should agricultural science be any different than any other science? If so, in what way?” These responses show an increase in understanding the social/cultural nature of (agricultural) science.

 
Student Pre-course Post-course
A As I see it, agricultural science is concerned with developing ways to maximize productivity and quality while minimizing harm to the environment (in other words, how do we feed the world without destroying the world). Because of the long history of farming and the unique climates where farming is practiced, it is essential that the science is relevant and specific to the area it may be implemented in. Not necessarily. It seems to me that all science should be conducted in a way that considers social, economic, cultural, and ethical factors.
B No, it shouldn’t really be any different, because it is about running tests, following the scientific method for experiments, and gathering data in order to make decisions on how to proceed in the future. The only difference is this is about growing food and plants. It should be more focused on sustainability and changing the system rather than keeping the same farming techniques we currently use. Yes, it should be different and should involve more environmental studies, politics, social aspects, and maybe even religion. It is probably more subjective.
C Agricultural science takes into account the history and projection of the practice of growing food. Agricultural science is unique because it factors in improving present quality and also ensuring future food security. Absolutely. Agricultural science needs to balance its recommendations between scientific evidence and realizing what is culturally feasible.