Malaria, DDT and internet myth: Lecture at University of Iowa on January 19

January 14, 2010

Do we have any readers in Iowa City?  Near Iowa City?

A presentation on the history of malaria and DDT, and the recent use and abuse of those stories to flog environmentalists and others on the internet, is set for the Hardin Library for Health Sciences at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, on January 19, 2010 (next Tuesday).

If you’re there, can you snap a couple of pictures to send, and get any handouts, and write up a piece about it?

Here is the press notice on-line:

Presentation on the History of Malaria and DDT

The University of Iowa History of Medicine Society invites you to hear Patrick T. O’Shaughnessy, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, speak on “Malaria and DDT: the History of a Controversial Association” on Tuesday, January 19th, 5:30 to 6:30, room 2032 Main Library. [in Iowa City, Iowa.]

Dr. O’Shaughnessy observes:  ”Although it helped prevent millions of cases of malaria after its widespread use in the 1950’s, the pesticide DDT was banned from use in the United States and fell out of favor as an agent to reduce cases of malaria around the world. This history of the events associated with the effort to eradicate malaria, as well as the environmental movement that led to the ban on DDT, will center on the story of a story that incorporated both issues and grew into a modern myth still seen in books and multiple websites today.”

The session is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served.

Hardin Library for the Health Sciences stands on the campus in Iowa City.

Hardin Library for the Health Sciences
600 Newton Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1098


The Hardin Library for the Health Sciences is located on Newton Road, directly north of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and approximately 1/2 mile east of Carver-Hawkeye Arena.  Go here for directions and more information.

Maybe I’m not the only bothered by the usual abuse of history and science on the issues of DDT and malaria.

Update: Tim Lambert notes at Deltoid that O’Shaughnessy is the guy who wrote what may be the definitive work on the famous — or infamous — Borneo Cat Drop. If you live in or near Iowa City, this lecture may be a wise investment of time.  High school teachers, your students could benefit, too.

%d bloggers like this: