December 1, 2007


The 2008 annual meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, "Climate, Environment, and Infectious Diseases," will be held 12–13 May at the Westin Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Registration and poster submission forms are online at

Relationships among climate, the environment, and human health are manifested in infectious disease patterns, notably seasonality. Vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, avian influenza, SARS, and related diseases are known to be closely linked to the environment and to climate. Investigators in the United States and abroad have studied interactions among climate, climate change, and the environment extensively, and the AIBS annual meeting will address these issues in depth.

The interplay of science and science policy in crosscutting themes involving science, public policy, and education will also be addressed in a special session with plenary speakers featuring science communicators, including authors of popular books addressing various aspects of infectious disease, human health, climate, and the environment. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the issues of climate change as these issues intersect with human health.

The rest of the meeting's program will be rounded out by a contributed poster session, AIBS awards presentations, and a teachers' workshop organized by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and the National Association of Biology Teachers. The AIBS annual meeting this year is a joint meeting with BSCS, which began as a part of AIBS and is now celebrating 50 years of independent operations.

The program chair is 2008 AIBS President Rita Colwell, of the University of Maryland, College Park. Confirmed plenary speakers and the topics of their presentations are listed below:

  • Andrew Dobson (Princeton University): the role of climate, immunity, and biotic interactions in the dynamics of infectious diseases
  • Durland Fish (Yale University): Lyme disease
  • Howard Frumkin (National Center for Environmental Health): environment and health
  • Stephen Hoffman (Sanaria, Inc.): malaria
  • Duane Gubler (University of Hawaii): dengue fever and other emerging fevers
  • Stephen Morse (Columbia University): avian influenza
  • David Rogers (Oxford University): infectious diseases and the environment

Confirmed participants in the communications symposium are Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Sixty Days and Counting, and Robert Morris, author of The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink. Additional speakers have been invited.

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