People need to talk about excessive use of antibiotics without getting emotional or mixing politics into the discussion, Ada Yonath, who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, said.
"Perhaps we committed errors in using antibiotics for treating viral diseases ... but we learned that that does not work. We learned a bunch of things ... so it is incorrect to say we are abusing antibiotics," Yonath said.
Yonath is one of the scientists participating in the 3rd World Summit on Evolution on Ecuador's Galapagos Islands.
The summit, which ends Thursday, is taking place in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where leading scientists are discussing evolution, genomics, microorganisms and diseases, among other topics.
Yonath said antibiotics were extremely useful, but she criticized the "political" use of the issue.
The use of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections has allowed average life expectancies to rise from 40 or 50 years to double that in just a few decades, Yonath said.