Silent Spring Series: Silent Spring + 50: Lessons from San Diego’s Bees and Bays

Date & Time

Wed, 02/06/2013
5:30-7:00 pm


Click here for a summary of our program.

Read the Voice of San Diego Op-Ed on this program:

Does More Information Make Us Dumber? Media and the Public Consciousness:

View the video of this program:

This discussion was co-sponsored by the University of California San Diego’s Greenovation Forum program and the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s landmark book, Silent Spring.

The Greenovation Forums are organized by UC San Diego’s Sustainability Solutions Institute and sponsored by the Scripps Foundation for Science and the Environment. The goal of the forums is to foster linkages related to environmental sustainability between researchers at UC San Diego and members of the regional community.

This was the third of a series of public events organized by the Ethics Center and six regional colleges and universities to mark the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring by bringing the public, scientists and university students together to explore how science can best serve society.


Introduction: David Woodruff, Director, Sustainability Solutions Institute, UC San Diego


  • Jill Witkowski: Preventing San Diego’s Silent Spring: What can be done about local water pollution?
  • James Nieh: Insidious effects of a parasite and common pesticides on honey bees

Moderator: Michael Kalichman, Director, Center for Ethics in Science and Technology


To view a recording of this event, please click here.


Jill Witkowski
San Diego Coastkeeper

As Waterkeeper for San Diego Coastkeeper, Jill provides leadership in policy, law and programs. Jill previously served as Deputy Director of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and was a Professor of Practice at Tulane Law School. At Tulane, Jill represented individuals and community groups in environmental suits under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and Louisiana state law. Jill graduated magna cum laude from University of Notre Dame with a double major in Environmental Science and Political Science with a concentration in Peace Studies. She received her J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and was inducted in the Order of the Coif.



James Nieh
UC San Diego

Dr. Nieh received his BA from Harvard in 1991 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1997. He completed an NSF-NATO postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Würzburg, Germany and was a Harvard Junior Fellow from 1998-2000. He is an authority on communication in bees and in addition has become involved in the global problem of honey bee colony collapse. Global declines in multiple bee species have been much in the news. Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops and as keystone pollinators in multiple ecosystems. Much attention has been given in the press to Colony Collapse Disorder, which has led to declines in the honey bee population. However, this is part of a larger overall decline in pollinators. He is investigating effects of parasites (Nosema ceranae) and pesticides (Spinosad and Imidacloprid, commonly used on crops and gardens) on honey bee health, foraging and orientation.