Science is curious.

Curiosity is one of Michelman’s greatest strengths. We continually pursue knowledge, challenge assumptions, and seek a better understanding of our connections to the world. All the best scientists share this same curiosity. One significant example of curiosity in science was determining how to mass-produce penicillin as a viable antibiotic after Alexander Fleming discovered it in 1928. Through the determination and curiosity of scientists, it was eventually found that penicillin's best strain for production was on a moldy cantaloupe in Peoria Market in 1943.

Science is collaborative.

On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 launched a mission to the moon with three astronauts—Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert. Fifty-six hours into the flight, an oxygen tank exploded, causing the spacecraft to lose oxygen and electricity. The mission instantaneously changed into a story of survival. Regardless of role or rank, crew members in both the spacecraft and at Nasa Mission Control participated in the solution. They used everyday items—including cardboard, a plastic bag, a sock, and a hose—to make air safe to breathe in the lunar module. Finally, the astronauts used the lunar module as a lifeboat for their safe return to Earth. Just like the Apollo 13 team, Michelman respects, values, and seeks out alternative points of view, and are aligned to act in concert, assembling the right team at the right time.

Science is respectful.

Carl Sagan’s 1995 masterwork The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark suggests that science works so well partly due to its “built-in error-correcting machinery.” Sagan argued that science is a logical framework for social change and a critical means for advancing society. It respects all questions with no matters too sensitive or delicate to be explored. He wrote that science’s true power lies not in feeding into our culture’s need for simplistic and ready-made answers, but its tools that test their proposed answers. Like Sagan, we value everyone’s time and contribution and cultivate professional relationships by respectfully engaging our associates, external partners, and customers. 

Science is giving.

George Washington Carver's research and innovation improved the quality of life for many farming families, making him an icon for African Americans and white Americans alike. His epitaph reads: "He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world." His contributions include over 300 peanut-based products, numerous developments for the sweet potato, and a revolutionary crop rotation theory that helped preserve farmland. This increased demand for such crops, helping struggling sharecroppers in the South, many of whom were former slaves. Michelman's associates also work toward something greater than themselves by contributing time, talent, and treasure to our communities. We have a social responsibility to help our communities, and our engagement helps the least advantaged among us lead thriving and meaningful lives with safer communities, healthier food choices, and improved education.

Science demands integrity.

“The greenhouse gas effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now.” These words, spoken during a 1988 congressional hearing by Dr. James E. Hansen, then Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, marked a watershed moment for the climate change movement. It was the first time a high profile government scientist openly stated that global warming had begun and that climate change was a reality. Dr. Hansen continues to show courage, commitment, and integrity by continuously calling for policies that address climate change. Since that day in 1988, he has become the scientific face for this critical issue to which he dedicated his life. We, too, dare to do what is right and contribute to the sustainability of our planet. Our Purpose of Innovating a Sustainable Future reflects our commitment to solving society’s complex problems with sustainable technology, expertise, and constant innovation.


Science drives success.

Wilbur and Orville Wright closely followed the research of German aviator Otto Lilienthal. When Lilienthal died in a glider crash, the brothers started their flight experiments. Determined to develop their airplane design, the Wright brothers headed to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, known for its strong winds, to figure out how to design wings for flight. They observed that birds angled their wings for balance and control, and tried to emulate this, developing a concept called “wing warping.” When they added a moveable rudder, the Wright brothers succeeded in flying the first airplane. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur flew their plane for 59 seconds, at 852 feet. Like the Wright brothers, Michelman has celebrated wins and learned from failures. Our ability to organize quickly around innovation has helped us succeed for over 75 years, and will continue to do so for decades to come.

Science is real.

Even the smallest actions can generate a big impact. Simple, science-backed personal behaviors, such as wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing, are making a demonstrable impact in the fight against Covid-19. Science-backed data is guiding our decisions about when and how to safely return to work, school, and sports, and reopen our economies. And, after this current crisis has abated, science will continue to lead the charge in tackling the big, complex problems facing our planet—problems that we at Michelman are helping to address every day in small but vital ways. We hope you'll join us in respecting the science and Innovating a Sustainable Future for everyone.