Former Vice President Joe Biden said it well: “We choose science over fiction.” The presidential candidate was wrapping up his remarks during the second night of Democratic debates.

 His words — in that single sentence, at least — are exactly right.

Too often, public officials make the mistake of choosing fiction over sci­­ence. That’s esp­­ecially true in ag­­riculture. Whether the subject is food production, crop protection or biotechnology, they’re vulnerable to the screaming demands of political activists rather than open to the careful thinking of scientific consensus.

I’ve seen this both in my life as an Iowa farmer and as a board member of the Iowa State University Research Park, where...