In 1998, the agribusiness now known as Syngenta asked UC Berkeley biologist Tyrone Hayes to study the effects of its herbicide atrazine on frogs. When his research found that atrazine impairs the reproductive organs of frogs, Syngenta launched a full-scale campaign to discredit Hayes, even going as far as investigating his wife and his finances.
Hayes, who grew up collecting reptiles and amphibians in South Carolina’s ditches before finishing at the top of his class in Harvard, could have easily backed down to avoid the corporation’s wrath. Instead, he risked his reputation, career and livelihood for the sake of science and the future of amphibians.
What’s Motivating Hayes? offers a glimpse into the kind of individual we need more of in today’s world: unwavering, courageous and willing to fight for what is right.