- Dr. Peter Butko, a chemistry professor at The University
of Southern Mississippi, will discuss breakthroughs in biotechnology
and how they apply to the public as part of the university's
2003 Science and Lecture Series March 19.
a native of Slovakia who earned degrees in physics and biophysics,
will present "Misconceptions in Science and Biotechnology"
at 7 p.m. at Reuben Auditorium in the Walker Science Building
on the Southern Miss campus.
of Butko's lecture has grown out of his research into Bt toxin
and soil bacteria, which is now used in commercial preparations
against mosquitoes and blackflies.
said many people ask questions like: "Do we really
want to kill pests on a large scale?' or Is it safe
to put genes for insecticidal toxins into agricultural plants?'
or Is gene therapy good?'"
"These are not easy answers."
of educating the public about science "irrespective of
vocation," Butko said the difficult scientific questions
are usually the most interesting ones.
needs to realize that although science is fairly good at providing
some answers, the point of science might rather be teaching
us how to ask better questions," he said.
has worked as a researcher at several institutions in North
America, including the National Research Council of Canada
and the Harvard Medical School. His research has been funded
by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science
Foundation, the Department of Agriculture and the Department
scheduled presentations in the series during the spring semester
Dr. Shelby Thames, "From Polymer Scientist to President,"
Dr. Adel Ali, "Supercomputing and High Performance Visualization,"
in the series will be held at 7 p.m. in Walker Science Building's
Reuben Auditorium. The presentations are free and open to