December 21 2007
Tyrone Hayes, a professor of integrated biology at the University of California at Berkeley, is the inaugural Diversity in Science speaker as part of ISUâ€™s department of life scienceâ€™s seminar series â€œFrom Molecules to Ecosystems.â€ Hayes will give the speech â€œFrom Silent Spring to Silent Night: Atrazineâ€™s Impact on Environmental and Public Healthâ€ at 4 p.m. in the Science Building, Room 12.
The speech is offered in conjunction with ISUâ€™s office of diversity and affirmative action.
â€œIt comes from the idea that we have very few faculty in underrepresented groups, especially minorities,â€ said Rusty Gonser, ISU assistant professor of life sciences.
It is important for students and professors alike to hear Hayesâ€™ research and the struggles he has faced because of it, according to Gonser.
â€œHe has had to fight against a big corporation,â€ he said. â€œHe is a role model for scientists and shows the data you collect is the data you collect. Thereâ€™s no spin to it. His research will lead the way for other people experimenting with herbicides and their effects.â€
Hayesâ€™ studies have challenged the ecological safety of atrazine, the most widely used pesticide in the United States. His research has shown that the chemical may affect amphibiansâ€™ reproductive organs after they are exposed to the farm chemical during spring runoff.
Although other scientists and the company that manufactures atrazine have challenged Hayesâ€™ findings, he has stuck to what his scientific research revealed.
â€œFrom our study, the only fair conclusion you can make is that there are abnormalities, thereâ€™s atrazine,â€ he said to the San Francisco Chronicle. â€œWe wanted to find out of atrazine has an effect or not. The answer is that it does.â€
Contact: Rusty Gonser, Indiana State University assistant professor of life sciences, at 812- 237-2395 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or email@example.com
A University of California at Berkeley researcher, Tyrone Hayes, who has found links between a common pesticide used on farms and amphibian deformities is scheduled to speak at Indiana State University on Jan. 8.