Everybody knows 55 C x 5 x 3. A compost pile has to reach 55º for 5 turns with a total of 3 days at temperature between turns. Those are the requirements to reach pathogen kill to make sure that the compost is Class A and is safe for general use. In our world that is pretty much the ‘apple a day’ equivalent. Recently Tania Gheseger from Metro Vancouver asked me for papers that show that that same 55 x 5 x 3 kills weed seeds too. My first reaction was to tell her that ‘everybody knows that’, thinking that it was part of the general wisdom rather than a conclusion from peer reviewed studies.
I was literally stopped in my (running) tracks when Eric Haseltine in a TED Radio Hour podcast interview (Eric Haseltine: Can The Past Guide Us To Future Scientific Breakthroughs?) asserted that leaps forward in science come from those pre-eminent scientists who push the boundaries of established scientific knowledge. This struck a chord because I had picked up on some recent science stories about “boundary pushing” and realized I was quite vague in our own field of “biosolids science” just who is doing such “boundary pushing."