The year 2000, I confess, scared me. I remember feeling the same way when we were approaching 1984, I suppose because of the disturbing view of the world in George Orwell's book about that year.
But I'm not quite sure what it was about 2000, certainly not computer crashes, food and water shortages or revolutions. I never took those kinds of Y2K warnings seriously.
Still, when the world seemed the same after midnight on January 1, I was almost euphoric. Now 2000 is exerting another kind of influence on me. I seem to be thinking in more of a long-range mode, and I'm not the only one. Part of this issue addresses the sweep of history. In The Smiles We Left Behind you'll find an article by Bob Rost about the OSU Agricultural Experiment Station's research accomplishments in the 20th century.
An article called Back to the Future offers predictions for the 21st century. Quite a few of those predictions involve expected advances in genetics. But not everyone is enamored with the field right now: In Genetic Engineering, Theresa Novak explores genetic engineering research at OSU and public concerns about moving genes from one living organism to another one.
And in The Lahontan's Lifeblood we look at a study of endangered fish in a tiny stream in the Oregon desert buffeted by various forces in centuries gone by.
I hope you enjoy reading our first issue of 2000. So far, I like the year. At the very least, to borrow a Woody Allen line, being here beats the alternative.