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Annual History of Microbiology Lecture:

Accomplishments and Legacy of the Soviet Biological Weapons Program, 1928-1992

 

Date:   Sunday, May 19, 2013

Time:   11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Location:

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO
Mile High Ballroom 3

Convener:

James A. Poupard,
Pharma Inst. of Philadelphia, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
Chair, Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives

Lecturer:

Raymond A. Zilinskas
Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA

 

Description:

The session’s main objective is to describe and explain the Soviet Union’s biological warfare (BW) program as directed against humans, from its origins in the late 1920s to the USSR’s dissolution in December 1991, paying special attention to its accomplishments related to weaponized bacterial and viral pathogens. The session will also clarify the possible threats that the program’s remnants, as lodged in present day Russian Ministry of Defense’s secret biological research institutes, pose to world peace.

 

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to

  • Discuss the Soviet BW program’s history, staffing, facilities, and objectives
  • Discuss the R&D undertaken to weaponize bacteria using genetic engineering techniques
  • Discuss the R&D undertaken to weaponize viruses using both classical and genetic engineering techniques
  • Discuss the major accomplishments of the Soviet BW program
  • Identify the violations of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention perpetrated by the Soviets
  • Discuss the threats posed by remnants of the Soviet BW program as they exist in the secret laboratories operated by the Russian Ministry of Defense in terms of their proliferation potential

 

 

 

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History Symposium:

Early Microbe Hunters Overcoming Biases and Barriers

 

Date:  Sunday, May 19, 2013

Time:  11:00 am - 1:30 pm

Location:

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO
Mile High Ballroom 1

Conveners:

Joan W. Bennett, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Marian Johnson-Thompson, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC

 Co-sponsors:

Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology
Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities
Underrepresented Members Committee

Description:

The earliest microbiologists were nearly all men with roots in European culture. Nevertheless, from its earliest years, microbiology has attracted many remarkable women and minorities who had to overcome unusual hurdles in order to become professionals. Nowadays we work to attract and retain diverse populations into scientific careers. By studying the history of our profession and by examining the motivations, experiences and educational paths that allowed pioneer “outsider” microbiologists to overcome the biases and barriers inherent in the culture of microbiology, we can learn lessons that can be applied to contemporary recruitment and retention efforts. We can also learn the significance of diversity in advancing microbiology.


Presentations:

11:00 am
How Fungi Brought Me to a Brighter Future

Arturo Casadevall,
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY

11:30 am
Long Before a Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology, There Was A. C. Evans

Lorraine A. Findlay,
Nassau County Community College and University Medical Center, Garden City, NY

12:00 Noon
Putting a New Face on the ASM Presidency

Clifford W. Houston,
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

12:30 pm
Motivations and Mind Sets of “Model Minorities”

Alice S. Huang, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

1:00 pm
Role Models of the Past: William Hinton, Ruth Moore and Others

Marian Johnson-Thompson,
University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC

 

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by women and minority microbiologists in the 20th Century
  • Examine the way in which the human factors present in laboratories, classrooms, hospital and other institutional settings can impact the practice of scientific careers
  • Recognize the subtle and complex forms of covert bias still faced by women and minorities in the 21st Century

 

 

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History of Microbiology Exhibit:

Alice Catherine Evans (1881-1975), the First Woman to Serve as President of the Society of American Bacteriologists (now ASM)

 

Location:

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO
Exhibit Hall, Booth 325

 

Dates & Times:

Sunday-Monday (May 19-20, 2013), 10:45 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday (May 21, 2013), 10:45 am – 2:45 pm

 

 

Description:

The Center for the History of Microbiology / ASM Archives (CHOMA) Exhibit explores the long, successful (and sometimes contentious) career of Alice Catherine Evans (1881-1975), the first woman to serve as President of the Society of American Bacteriologists (now ASM), who made substantial contributions to dairy and medical bacteriology.

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