CSCG Presents ‘A Tale of Toads and Men’ and More . . .

Tyrone Hayes, renowned biologist and Professor of Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley, will speak at the opening event of the Center for Science and Common Good Sept. 24 at 7 p.m., in Olin auditorium. His talk is titled, “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men.”

Dr. Hayes is known for his research on herbicide atrazine, and its impact on the endocrine system of male frogs. He is an advocate for critical review and regulation of pesticides and for uncovering health disparities among American populations.

Born and raised in Columbia, S.C., and inspired by the wildlife of Congaree Swamp, Dr. Hayes developed a fascination for amphibians and their development, growth and reproduction. He earned his BS degree from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993. Joining the Department of Integrative Biology at Berkeley, he has pursued research on the role of hormones in amphibian development. Appointed to full Professor in 2002, Dr. Hayes has received the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Distinguished Mentor Award from the University of California at Berkeley, the Jennifer Altman Award for Integrity in Science, the Rachel Carlson Memorial Award (Pesticide Action Network), the National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award (NGS) and the President’s Citation Award (American Institute of Biological Sciences.)

Hayes’ work was featured in the 2008 documentary film Flow: For Love of Water. He appeared in the 2012 documentary film Last Call at the Oasis and is the subject of The Frog Hunter, a biographical book for children, first published in 2009. Hayes was a biologist on the PBS National Geographic program Strange Days, where he expressed his concerns for human health, particularly that of minority and low-paid workers exposure to agricultural chemicals. He is a National Geographic Society Explorer.

The event will be followed Sept. 29 with a talk by David Skelly at  7 p.m. in Olin auditorium. Recently named director of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, Dr. Skelly’s research on the effects of water pollution on the development of frogs in suburban environments has received wide attention in the national medial. He is Professor of Ecology and Associate Dean for Research at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Dr. Skelly received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.His work has centered on pond-breeding amphibians, which he calls “an excellent case study in the difficulties and promise confronted by ecologists today.”  In 1990 when reports of disappearing populations became widespread, amphibian ecologists like Dr. Skelly have been working to explain the issues through their research.

The next event scheduled will be Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. when Jody Roberts, Director of the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at The Chemical Heritage Society in Philadelphia, will speak in the Lenfest Theater.

Rebecca Roberts, Ursinus Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, and Co-coordinator of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program, will speak Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Lenfest Theater.

The Center for Science and the Common Good at Ursinus College exists to foster a campus-wide conversation about issues arising at the intersection of science and society. That conversation is part of the College’s larger mission to provide a liberal education. The Center beings its third year this fall with the support of a major grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.