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Dr. Rob Wallace: “Bird flu, Ebola, and Zika: When Evolution Meets Political Economy”
February 24, 2017 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Our economy is transforming planet Earth into planet Farm. Agribusiness’s impact extends to the deadliest of diseases. Ebola and Zika both recently re-emerged when logging, mining, and intensive agriculture opened up neotropical forests to their escape. There are other pathogens evolving more directly off megafarms. We can model such connections, but there are broader implications in play as well. The search for a more perspicacious evolutionary biology is not necessarily divided from the fight for a better world. Hume’s guillotine and Moore’s naturalist fallacy, wise cautionaries at the heart of much of the natural sciences, are often circumstantially fallacious. Whereas many a new scientist is taught in the lab–as opposed to the classroom–that conducting good research revolves around avoiding professionally awkward study questions, in actuality the struggles for truth and justice can be deeply entwined.
Dr. Wallace is the author of two recent books: “Big Farms, Big Flu”; “Neoliberal Ebola”. He is an evolutionary biologist who focuses on the interrelations between food systems and emerging diseases.