Blinded by the prevailing ideas on evolution and believing on the magic derived from misconstrued assumptions and from technology, humanity is entering a period of great environmental changes. A new paradigm in the evolution of species associations, the Stockholm Paradigm, challenges the deeply rooted assumptions that have strongly influenced our perspective about the evolution of associations and infectious diseases. This paradigm results from the integration of accumulated knowledge and collaboration among scientists of historically independent areas of biology: parasitology and insect-plant interactions. Recently, model and empirical studies, testing precepts of this paradigm, rejected some fundamental assumptions of the prevailing paradigm in the evolution of associations. For instance, we suggest that the traditional assumptions that parasites (including pathogens) are intimately tied to their host’s lineage and, consequently, that Emergent Infectious Diseases are extremely rare are wrong. It was misconstrued from a strict interpretation of the world around us. Accumulated knowledge indicates that an increase in the rate of EID’s is an expected outcome associated with the environmental changes imposed by the transformation of our climate. We, as a species, have been through major climate changes in the past and, for better or worse, we endured. Since, them however, we have created a far more complex society, strongly dependent on technology and division of labor. Hence, things are not as simple as in the past. We propose that the preservation of our way of life is strongly dependent on planning, based on anticipated scenarios ground on robust scientific knowledge - not in magic thinking. During this talk, I will present the results of studies that support the Stockholm Paradigm. We suggest that this paradigm should be the backbone for anticipating changes in the dynamics of EID’s associated with climatic changes that we envision for the near future. I will also discuss aspects of other areas of interest that can benefit from this new perspective, such as conservation and agriculture. But it is certain that any effective planning will rely on active and intense collaboration of scientists of many areas and decision making governmental personnel.
2016. november 07.
Walter Boeger: A blindfolded magician through the storm
10.30-12.30 Open Lecture
Location: Europe House, Bibó room
15.30-18.30 Afternoon Talk (closed workshop)