The Power of Diversity

A recent study by the University of Michigan highlights the value of biological diversity.

Researchers studied biofuels derived from algae as a possible alternative to fossil fuels.  They wondered whether using a variety of different algal species would increase or decrease production.

In a single closed environment, more species of algae tended to decrease biocrude production.  This is due to competition among the various species.

But in a natural outdoor environment, more species of algae tended to increase production.  This is because a natural environment has variations in temperature and irradiance that can lead to crop failure.  Different species of algae have different strengths, and a diverse mix of species helps ensure overall survival.

“Species diversity has the potential to stabilize biocrude production over time,” the researchers conclude, “particularly in the presence of environmental temperature variability.”

This study reinforces the value of diversity in Earth’s biological ecosystem.  But these same principles apply to the scientific research community as well, where diversity can help increase the production of ideas and breakthroughs.

“Diversity goes to the heart of how to do research and innovation effectively,” says Scientific American.  “When we have to work with people who are not like ourselves, we tend to prepare more thoroughly and work harder to marshal our arguments, and we do better work as a result.”

At Agilent, we value a diverse and global workforce.  Every day, our success depends on the different ideas and perspectives that our employees bring to the work environment.

“Agilent teams are richly diverse in global cultural perspectives, individual knowledge and experience,” says Agilent CEO Mike McMullen.  “Our values form the foundation of how we work with customers, suppliers and competitors.”

Agilent does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, including race, age, gender, or religion.  Under Mike’s leadership, our 12,500 employees around the world have refreshed our company’s culture with a simple phrase: “One Agilent.”

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