The Discovery Decade of Arbovirus Research in Western North America, 1940–1949

William C. Reeves Department of Biomedical and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720

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Bruce Eldridge, the program chairman for the American Mosquito Control Association, invited me to develop a paper to present at their meeting in March 1987. The paper was to present some of my experiences while studying the mosquito-borne virus encephalitides during the early 1940s in the Yakima Valley, Washington, and Kern County, California. He stressed that his interest was in the ideas and processes involved in developing new methods for biological and epidemiological investigations. Some of these methods are taken for granted today because they have been used as long as anyone can remember. However, Bruce felt that the thought processes in developing methods rarely are presented in scientific papers and would be of considerable interest to members of that Association. Before accepting the invitation, I spent several sleepless nights and days activating my memory bank and rereading old papers. I even had the unusual experience of rereading my own Ph.D. thesis which I wouldn't necessarily recommend that you do.