BUFFALO, N.Y. — When cleaning up polluted land, water and
air, the conventional approach is to focus solely on scientific and
But is that view too narrow? Can it lead to flawed research and
harmful public policy?
Some environmental advocates think so. They argue for a more
holistic method that considers what community members affected by
the environmental contamination have to say.
This approach, they say, could alleviate issues of distrust
between scientists and the public, and lead to groundbreaking
research and public policy.
That will be the topic of a panel discussion titled
“Silenced Voices: Whose Stories Do Experts Count? Lessons
from Affected Communities at the Intersection of Science, Public
Policy, and Environmental Health” held Thursday, Dec. 5, at
the University at Buffalo.
Open to the public, the event will feature Yanna Lambrinidou,
adjunct assistant professor at Virginia Tech, whose research on
lead contamination in the District of Columbia’s drinking
water helped expose the wrongdoing of government agencies.
Also on the panel is Erin Heaney, executive director of the
Clean Air Coalition of Western New York (CACWNY), and two of the
coalition’s founding board members, Glenn and Jennifer
Ratajczak. The coalition led a successful grassroots effort to
reduce benzene emissions and other pollutants released by the
Tonawanda Coke Corp.
The discussion will be held at the North Campus, from 2 p.m. to
4 p.m., at 509 O’Brian Hall (building No. 12 on this map: http://www.buffalo.edu/buildings/maps/NorthCampus.pdf
). Attendees are asked to RSVP to CEPPrvsp@buffalo.edu.
For more information, contact Laura Mangan, coordinator for
UB’s Civic Engagement & Public Policy Research Initiative
(CEPP), at email@example.com or (716)
The event is organized by CEPP, CACWNY, the Department of Civil,
Structural & Environmental Engineering in UB’s School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences and the UB Office of