UW-Madison: Former National Science Foundation director to speak about climate and disease


CONTACT: Ron Kalil, rekalil@wisc.edu, (608) 262-4903

MADISON – Rita Colwell, a former director of the National Science Foundation, will speak on campus Friday, April 20 about links between climate change and human disease.

Colwell, a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland College Park and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, will deliver a Neuroscience and Public Policy Seminar at 4 p.m. in 341 Bardeen Labs, 1215 Linden Dr. The talk is free and open to the public.

Colwell’s talk is titled, “Oceans, Climate, and Human Health: Scientific Understanding of the Direct Relationship Between Human Disease and the Environment.” She will discuss evidence that many human diseases and epidemics – including the on-going cholera epidemic in Haiti – are linked to climate, weather, and environmental conditions, yet public health delivery is complicated by a lack of understanding of those environmental drivers.

Colwell is a U.S. Science Envoy and has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 2000. She has authored more than 700 papers and 17 books and produced the award winning film “Invisible Seas.” She received the National Medal of Science in 2006 and won the Stockholm Water Prize in 2010.