Ithaca, N.Y. — Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates published a blog post last week about his trip to Cornell.

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Gates was in Ithaca on Oct. 1 for the unveiling of Gates Hall, a new Computer and Information Science building on campus.

Gates wrote on his blog:

Of all the things I did when I visited Cornell University recently, I probably had the most fun brushing up on how plants have sex.

Cornell is one of the world’s top universities for research on improving crops. Their work involves a lot of plant breeding. During one meeting, I got to try my hand at cross-pollinating wheat, which is a surprisingly delicate procedure. It gave me even more respect for the people who do it every day.

Cornell’s work on crop improvement also involves a lot of cutting-edge genetics. You might see the words “crop improvement” and “genetics” in the same sentence and think I’m talking about GMOs. Although Melinda and I do support research in that area—we don’t think poor farmers should be denied the choice to use any tools that might benefit them—the work I saw at Cornell is different. It’s focused on how the science of genetics can improve agriculture in other ways. And the advances are really exciting.

You can read the full blog post here, and below is a video that accompanied the post:

See here for a photo essay of Gates’ talk with President David Skorton.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.