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For further information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu

For Immediate Release: May 30, 2007
Contact: Gina Hebert, MBL, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu

MBL Symposium to Address the Influence of Chemicals on the Reproductive Health of Humans and Animals

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—The public is invited to a MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) mini-symposium exploring the history and growing debate regarding how chemicals in our environment are influencing the reproductive health of animals and humans. The symposium, presented by the MBL’s Frontiers in Reproduction course, will be held on Friday, June 1 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM in the MBL’s Speck Auditorium, located in the Rowe Laboratory, MBL Street, Woods Hole. The event is free and open to the public.

Speakers include Dr. Joan Ruderman of the Harvard Medical School who will give a historical perspective on the environmental estrogen problem and Dr. Carlos Sonnenschein of Tufts Medical School who will explore environmental estrogens and reproductive tract disorders. Other talks will focus on the effects of chemicals such as Bisphenol A, used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, and the dioxin TCDD, a contaminant formed in the production of some chlorinated organic compounds, on reproduction. In addition, Stephen Hall, a contributing writer and editor at the New York Times Magazine author of the book Merchants of Immortality will present a talk titled” Public Perception of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Science Today.”

The mini-symposium coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rachel Carson, a biologist and writer born on May 27, 1907 whose research is heralded in today's understanding of the effects of environmental contaminants on humans and other animals and whose book "Silent Spring" touched off a major controversy on the effects of pesticides.

Carson studied at the MBL several times throughout her career, beginning in 1929 when she worked on an anatomical study of the brain and cranial nerves of the turtle. She returned in 1932 after receiving her A.M. from Johns Hopkins University and in summer 1950, she had a laboratory in Crane wing of Lillie Laboratory. Carson was a member of the MBL Corporation from 1952 to 1963.

Parking for event is available in the MBL’s Bar Neck Road parking lot, located two blocks from the Swope Center on Bar Neck Road. For more information, contact the MBL Communications Office, 508-289-7423.


The MBL® is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu