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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Columbia Public Health Historian on New York Academy of Medicine Panel on Science Denial

On November 2nd Dr. David Rosner, Ronald H. Lauterstein professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, is taking part in a symposium at The New York Academy of Sciences on the roots of science denial, the negative consequences for science and public health, and how we can make the best case for science today.

Titled “Science Denial: Lessons and Solutions” the one-day event will gather leading global communications, political science, psychology, and behavior researchers as well as historians, public health officials, and science outreach experts to examine the social, cultural, behavioral, and economic motivations of those who deny science and efforts for solutions. Dr. Rosner is on the opening panel titled The History of Science Denial and its Consequences for Global Health.

Dr. Rosner serves as co-director of the Center for the History & Ethics of Public Health at Columbia Mailman School and co-leads the ToxicDocs project, a dataset and website, that contain millions of pages of previously secret documents about toxic substances including unpublished scientific studies, and expert witness reports that emerged in toxic tort litigation.

An authority on occupational health and industrial disease, and the effects of lead in paint on the health of children in particular, Rosner co-authored the books Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children and Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution which examine the issue of lead poisoning over the years and in light of contemporary public health principles. Dr. Rosner has been a key witness in several court cases where much of the historical evidence was from research conducted for these books and aimed at removing lead from children’s environments and compensating parents and governmental agencies for the costs of care and abatement of hazards in the home environment.  This week the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal Sherwin Williams, National Lead, and Conagra brought regarding the California lead paint decision which means that California public health agencies will receive $800 million to address lead paint hazards in the State’s largest cities.

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