In 2006, the SBLF seminar series continued to grow. While the final accounting is not yet in, convening the seminars at Town Hall, our new location, seems to have paid off. We think that the final attendance count will be around 450, with 50 to 60 new faces in each audience. That’s an approximately 10% increase in our audience over 2005. We owe some of the increase to being included in Town Hall’s publicity, and we are also benefiting from increased press coverage of the series. All three lectures were rebroadcast on KPLU as part of their Speaker’s Forum. In addition, we’ve had other media interviews. For example, our last lecturer, Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, Professor of Environmental Studies and Population Health Sciences at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, was interviewed about the health effects of climate change on KEXP as part of its Saturday program, Mind Over Matters, and on the KMPS Sunday public affairs show with Don Briggs. The lectures this year were as follows:
January 25, 2006
The amount of time we spend in traffic, background noise, water, air and food quality, access to open spaces or sidewalks—all of these factors affect our health. Lawrence Frank, PhD, is the J. Armand Bombardier Chair in Sustainable Transportation at the University of British Columbia and author of Health and Community Design, The Impacts of the Built Environment on Physical Activity, and most recently, co-author of Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, Building for Healthy Communities. His articles on health, community design and transportation have appeared in Time magazine, CNN, ABC news and other media outlets. An alumnus of University of Washington, Dr. Frank has also had a long-standing local presence, working with King County and the Puget Sound Clear Air Agency to conduct research and initiate public health programs. His lecture focused on urban sprawl and public health, with information about the research he is currently conducting in King County.
February 15, 2006
Plastics permeate our lives—from CDs and cell phone casings to baby bottles and incubators for premature infants. Mounting evidence suggests that exposures to certain chemicals found in hard plastics may contribute to a variety of lifelong human health problems. Frederick vom Saal, PhD, is a professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, such as Neurotoxicology and Teratology and Environmental Health Perspectives. Dr. vom Saal presented his seminal research on the health effects of low dose exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, specifically bisphenol-A. Bisphenol-A, found in many household, medical and baby products, is now associated with compromised uterine function, thwarted fetal development, decreased sperm production, neurological problems, prostate and other cancers, aggressive behaviors, and more. He also discussed how this research may catalyze the plastics industry to develop less toxic materials.
Thursday, March 9, 2006
While global warming has captured a great deal of media attention, reports often do not explain, in practical terms, its effects on human health. Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, associate professor of Environmental Studies and Population Health Sciences at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, discussed the relationships between climate change, land use and infectious disease.
The 7th Annual Lyceum Series, presented by the Whidbey Institute, the Whidbey Audubon Society, and the Maxwelton Salmon Adventure was in April and May, 2006. Renowned photojournalist Steve Wilson, a former Life and National Geographic regular who was represented by the storied Magnum photo agency in New York and Paris, and Bill Dietrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of books and articles on Northwest natural history, gave presentations.
This year’s Lyceum Series included a photographic exhibit, Time and the Passage of Trees, 99 images by Steve Wilson, made possible by a grant from SBLF.