Review/Oorsig Volume 23, Issue 01 - Page 20

Oorsig/Review is not a viable hypothesis that explains all the features and peculiarities it presents. Without a working hypothesis to be tested, we continue to describe the disease rather than explain it. This is an ongoing challenge where I still hope to contribute towards a satisfactory conclusion. Fig 5. The Five Point Check for sustainable worm control Research is never complete. We are too ambitious and hope that our research will cover all aspects and answer all questions, but this never happens. There are always new questions or new approaches to investigate. It is better to get a few well-supported answers that can ultimately lead to comprehensive answers from meta-analysis and excellent literature reviews. In my view, not one of my research projects concluded the matter – all could benefit from further work. Accept limitations and failures. Fig 6. Ophthalmia, with many causes and thus no single solution Not all investigation or research yields satisfactory answers and there may be no need or opportunity to follow up initial findings. Unusual conditions like cleft palates, khaki carcass or Bolo Disease are some examples. In other cases, like evaluating very bold but unsubstantiated claims made for the ‘efficacy’ of farmer ‘cures’, we face an underlying belief that the answer to problems is somehow to be found in the kitchen, workshop or veld plants on the farm, and not in registered products – diatomaceous earth is one example. Write it up! Unrecorded investigations or research is often lost over time. Not all findings will be worthy of submission to a refereed scientific journal but they should be written up and made accessible to future investigators. There is often little or nothing to go on unless this task is done. I am guilty of this research crime – there is a long list of information that was not properly recorded. Know the Industry. Fig 7. Pneumonia – many causes and contributory factors expensive and unnecessary mistakes. The Five Point Check succeeded through good planning and modification; the success of questionnaire surveys like heartwater incidence and spread depend on very clear questions that can be analysed. Modifications are often necessary to meet unforeseen difficulties. Hypotheses must explain observed features. For many years I worked on a disease of Angoras called Swelling Disease, and several other researchers have contributed to our knowledge and understanding since then, but to date there 20 Making a worthwhile impact and knowing which problems to solve requires a thorough knowledge of the industry – in this respect I have again been very lucky to gain insights through organisations like Agricultural Colleges, Universities, Governments, Breed Societies, Professional Associations and National Farmer Associations, as well as Organisations like the RMRD – SA.