Feb. 15, 2018

National Academies Announce Initiative on Environmental Health; Appoint Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are launching an Academies-wide initiative to transform how the nation addresses the complex issues associated with environmental health—a field that examines how the environment affects human health.  The initiative will bring together expertise across the institution, including environmental, medical, and social science, energy, and engineering, and involve leaders from government, corporate, and academic entities to explore the latest science, identify promising solutions, and create innovative pathways toward improving environmental health.  

The Academies’ rich history of providing guidance and leadership in environmental health research and policy includes a wide array of work, including consensus reports that have had significant impacts on toxicity testing, risk assessment and problem formulation, and science for the future of EPA.  The Academies also have a range of other work in fields that could intersect with environmental health, including building healthy, resilient, and sustainable communities after disasters and characterizing risk in climate change assessments.

Through the Environmental Health Matters Initiative (EHMI), the Academies will provide leadership by convening and facilitating efforts to identify and plan how to address the big questions in the discipline that need to be undertaken, explore their complexity, enable the development of holistic and sustainable options, and provide rapid expert input when crises demand.  

A multidisciplinary steering committee has been appointed to launch the initiative in advising the nation on environmental health issues and creating outreach mechanisms to enable a broader range of stakeholders to engage and use the breadth of relevant work.  The committee will be chaired by Thomas Burke, Jacob I.  and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor and chair at Johns Hopkins University (Full committee roster follows).  

For more information about the EHMI, visit www.nas-sites.org/envirohealthmatters. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #envirohealthmatters.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit http://national-academies.org.

Riya V. Anandwala, Media Relations Officer
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu


Advisory Group for the Pilot Environmental Health Matters Initiative

Thomas A. Burke (chair)
Jacob I. and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor, and
Chair in Health Risk and Society
Department of Health Policy and Management
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

Maureen Cropper1
Distinguished University Professor, and
Department of Economics
University of Maryland
College Park

Harvey Fineberg2
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Palo Alto, Calif.

James E. Geringer
Senior Director
Environmental Systems Research Institute, and
Vice Chair
NASA Position Navigation and Timing Advisory Board for the U.S. Global Positioning Satellite System
Cheyenne, Wyo.

Kathleen McLaughlin
Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and
Walmart Foundation
Bentonville, Ark.

Jonathan M. Samet2
Colorado School of Public Health


Marilee Shelton-Davenport
Staff Director

1Member, National Academy of Sciences
2Member, National Academy of Medicine