Cafè Scientifique: “Managing Risk in a Complex World: Reflections on Mosquito-Borne Diseases"
- Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Bob Peterson, Montana State University entomology professor and incoming president of the Entomological Society of America, will be the featured speaker at the university’s upcoming Café Scientifique.
Peterson will present “Managing Risk in a Complex World: Reflections on Mosquito-Borne Diseases and the Scientist’s Role in a Post-Fact Media Landscape” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at the Baxter Hotel Ballroom in downtown Bozeman. The event is hosted by MSU and co-sponsored by its INBRE and COBRE programs. It is free and open to the public.
During the talk, Peterson will briefly summarize his research on mosquitoes and provide an overview of the tools and techniques currently used to manage mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile, Zika, malaria, yellow fever and dengue. He will also touch on the risks and benefits of common pesticides as well as cutting-edge control possibilities such as gene-editing techniques.
Peterson, who specializes in environmental risk assessment, plans to describe how scientific facts form the basis for risk-evaluation models in his field.
“Reasoning which insect-management solution to use, when to use it or whether to intervene at all in a particular situation involves weighing a complex set of environmental factors, risks and expected benefits,” he said. “These inputs are all based on facts and inferences derived from the scientific method.”
Research on mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases illustrates how the scientific method can do more than just elucidate facts about the natural world, Peterson said. He also sees it as tool that can help researchers and policy makers weigh potential consequences and ultimately inform decision-making.