The 2004 SBLF inaugural lecture series underscored the fundamental relationship between human and ecological health. The Series brought together more than 250 attendees, including researchers, health care providers, government agency representative, health-affected groups, and environmental health and justice advocacy groups. Feedback from our audience was enthusiastic.
Our 2004 lecturers were nationally recognized thought leaders who come to Seattle to share their expertise on different aspects of this complex field and participate in a dialogue on ways to translate cutting-edge science into actions we can take to create a healthier world for current and future generations. We heard from Pete Myers, PhD, on the impact on toxic chemicals on health, from Jane Houlihan, MS, on the new science of tracking chemicals in our bodies, and from Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, on environmental factors in the rising incidence of breast cancer. A lively discussion and answer period followed each lecture and spilled over into a wine and munchies reception in the lobby of the Seattle Art Museum.
The lecture series grew out of initiatives developed at the March 2003 Advisory Group retreat. One of the ideas that got everyone excited was sponsoring a health/environment seminar series. The Group goals for the project were to:
* Partner with other groups
* Target two audiences: other scientists and the general public
* Recruit well known scientists/experts in interdisciplinary areas as speakers
* Extend the seminars reach through newspaper articles, radio, and the SBL website
* Provide for extended conversations among speakers and audiences through receptions associated with the seminar
The seminar series came together during the summer when SBL identified two great partners: the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) in Portland and the Institute of Children’s Environmental Health (ICEH) here in Seattle. The OEC launched their third lecture series in the Fall of 2003 and SBLF was able to piggy back on their model to bring three of their top speakers to Seattle. Joining in this unique collaboration, ICEH made the series a hit here at home.
Media savvy Robin Shapiro donated her own time and that of her firm, Health Advocacy Strategies, to help us publicize these events. Another round of applause to Cascadia Consulting for collecting and publishing feedback surveys from the audience of each lecture pro bono. We also wish to thank the Seattle Art Museum for donating use of their auditorium and lobby for the series, and the Foundation volunteers (Emilie Castle, Marcie Hearell, Sue Kipper, Susan Furman Winter, and Adel Yoaukim) for help staffing the events.