S24 Dickson Presentation Brian A. Federici
Presentation delivered in-person at UCR Extension in University Village Room 1101 and Livestreamed via Zoom.

The Edward A. Dickson Emeritus/a Professorship Lecture

The UCR Retirees’ (UCRRA) and Emeriti (UCREA) Associations invites you to attend the upcoming Edward A. Dickson Emeritus/a Lecture Talk Series. Each year three retired UCR faculty are awarded Edward A. Dickson Professorships to support their research, teaching, or public service activities. In the year following their awards, Dickson Professors give public presentations of their work. 

“Wasp Evolution Tricks Scientists”

Presenter: Dickson awardee Brian A. Federici | Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. | Location: In-person at University Village 1101 and Livestreamed via Zoom


Professor Federici studies viruses, bacteria, and fungi that attack insects, with research funded during his career by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). Federici’s focus has been the biology of natural pathogens, or those genetically engineered, as replacements for chemical insecticides. During the 1970’s, Federici became interested in particles female parasitic wasps inject with eggs into caterpillars that help wasp larvae avoid innate immunity and kill their hosts during development. For five decades the particles were considered virions, the infectious agents for viruses known as polydnaviruses (PDVs). In papers published in 1991, 2003, and 2010, he argued the particles were not virions, but rather immunosuppressive organelles that evolved from virions. These papers were ignored until 2023 when prominent virologists at NIH also concluded PDV virions were not virions, thus PDVs are not viruses. Federici's Dickson Lecture will focus on this case of scientific tribalism, showing how science can err when research leaders knowingly misinterpret data that contradict their long-held ideas.

Refreshments will be provided


Event Registration

Thank you to those who have registered! To join in-person or through livestreaming the event, please register to receive the event details on the Retirement Center webpage at:

The invitation flyer can be viewed and downloaded on the retirees and emeriti webpage at:

A Special Thank You to Our Co-Sponsors

UCR Osher

UCR Office of Gift Planning

We welcome you, your family and friends to join us!



UCR Retirees’ and Emeriti Associations 

Target Audience
Students, Faculty, Staff, UCR Community, General Public
Registration Required