1999 Inaugural Bernstein Symposium
Environmental Health Policy: Whither the Science?
March 12, 1999
About Isadore Bernstein
Science should play a strong role in the approach to environmental health policy. Unfortunately, the nature of science does not fit the popular picture held by society at large, which likes to believe that science can resolve complex issues by identifying exactly what is true and what is not true. The effect of uncertainty in the process of scientific judgment is frequently not grasped. So, when science fails to provide definitive answers, public mistrust escalates, prompting policy makers and their masters, the politicians, to lose confidence in the ability of science to be useful to them. Then single agenda, science-based pressure groups and the media get into the act and, in the process, further undermine the trust of the public in science. Paradoxically, when scientists try to overcome these difficulties by being more open, the divisions between them become even more apparent, and public mistrust deepens. In such a climate, the role of science in environmental health policies can become secondary to the host of non-scientific factors.
James H. Vincent, Ph.D., D.Sc., Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, University of Michigan
Reflections on Dr. Bernstein
Steven P. Levine, Ph.D., CIH, Professor, Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, University of Michigan
The Prevention of Cancer
Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D., Professor and Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of California, Berkeley
From Sputnik to Superfund: The Role of Junk Science in Shaping Environmental Priorities
Kathryn E. Kelly, Dr.P.H., Founder and President, Delta Toxicology
In Search of Balance Between Science and Societal Concerns in Shaping Public Policy
Gregory G. Bond, Ph.D., M.P.H., Corporate Director of Product Responsibility and Director of the Health and Environmental Research Laboratories, Dow Chemical Company
Science, Judgement and Wisdon: First Do No Harm
Ian A. Greaves, MB, Associate Dean, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
Improving Confidence in Scientific Advice to Government about Risks
Jim McQuaid, Ph.D., CB, FEng, Director of Science and Technology and Chief Scientist, UK Health and Safety Executive
All Speakers participate
James H. Vincent
Bruce N. Ames
Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Ames is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Ames was the recipient of the most prestigious award for cancer research, the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Prize (1983); the highest award in environmental achievement, the Tyler Prize (1985); the Gold Medal Award of the American Institute of Chemists (1991); the Glenn Foundation Award of the Gerontological Society of America (1992); the Lovelace Institutes Award for Excellence in Environmental Helath Research (1995); the Honda Foundation Prize (1996); and the Japan Prize (1997). His 350 scientific publications (1973-1984) have resulted in his being the 23rd most-cited scientist –in all fields. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has served on their Commission on Life Sciences. In addition, he was a member of the board of directors of the National Cancer Institute’s National Cancer Advisory Board, from 1976 to 1982.
Gregory G. Bond
Ph.D., M.P.H., Corporate Director of Product Responsibility, DOW Chemical Company,
Director of the Health and Environmental Research Laboratories
In his position as Corporate Director of Product Responsibility for the Dow Chemical Company, Dr. Bond provides leadership for a global organization of experts who ensure that environmental, health, and safety vulnerabilities and opportunities are managed within Dow’s 14 global business units. He also directs Dow’s Health and Environmental Research Laboratories, which provide toxicological and environmental testing and consultative services for Dow’s businesses. Dr. Bond has published more than 50 journal articles on epidemiology research and product stewardship. In 1988, he was elected a Fellow in the American College of Epidemiology. He has served as an advisor to various government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registries, and the Centers for Disease Control. Greg Bond holds a PhD and MPH in Epidemiology, and a BS in Microbiology from the University of Michigan.
Ian A. Greaves
MB, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
Deputy Director of the Center for Environment and Health Policy at the University of Minnesota
Dr. Greaves is a physician trained in pulmonary medicine and occupational health. His research has focused on the lungs in health and disease, with particular reference to airborne toxins, including studies of workers in the electronics, chemical and automobile industries. In recent years, he has been a member of several national policy-making bodies, such as the National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicology and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists’ Threshold Limit Value Committee – helping define “safe” exposure limits to a variety of environmental and occupational hazards. As Deputy Director of the Center for Environment and Health Policy at the University of Minnesota for the last four years, his interests have broadened to include pollution prevention and food safety issues. Dr. Greaves views himself first and foremost as a public health professional, for whom the health and well-being of the public is a primary concern.
Kathryn E. Kelly
Dr.P.H., Founder and President, Delta Toxicology
Since 1985 Dr. Kelly has founded and presided over two organizations, Delta Toxicology and Environmental Toxicology International, which have provided strategic planning in environmental toxicology, health risk assessment, and risk communication. She has served on the first Washington State Department of Ecology Science Advisory Board for Superfund Matters, the Texas Air Control Board Task Force on Cement Kilns, and the Washington State Municipal Solid Waste Advisory Committee. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Review and Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program, the American College of Toxicology, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and the Society for Risk Analysis. Kelly received a DRPH and MPH from Columbia University, and an AB in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Ph.D., CB, FEng, Director of Science and Technology
Chief Scientist, Health and Safety Executive, England
Dr. McQuaid has spent most of his career with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the government regulator of industrial health and safety in Great Britain. Following various appointments in HSE’s research laboratories, he was appointed Research Director of HSE in 1985. In 1992, he transferred to a central role as Director of Strategy and General Division, and in 1996 was appointed Director of Science and Technology. He has also acted as HSE’s Chief Scientist since 1992, with overall responsibility for implementing government policies on science and technology. He has a particular interest in the interaction between science and technology and government policy-making, especially in the area of risk regulation. In addition to his HSE responsibilities, he also leads on pan-government initiatives to improve consistency of risk policies and practices. Dr. McQuaid holds a PHD in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Cambridge.
About Isadore Bernstein
Professor Isadore Bernstein brought distinction to the University of Michigan through his scholarly research, teaching and public service. Internationally known for his research in the areas of environmental toxicology and cutaneous biochemistry, he was widely regarded as one of the outstanding scholars and teachers in his field.
He was born on December 23, 1919 in Clarksburg, West Virginia. In 1941 he earned his BA degree in Biology from Johns Hopkins University. He served as a commissioned office in the U.S. Armed Forces, Northern Pacific Theater, from 1941 to 1946. In 1952 he received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Western Reserve University, where he studied under the mentorship of Dr. Harland G. Wood. He joined the University of Michigan in 1953 and held academic appointments in the Medical School and the School of Public Health. In 1967, he was appointed Professor of Biological Chemistry and Professor of Environmental and Industrial Health.
Throughout his distinguished career, Professor Bernstein's expertise and knowledge were widely sought, both within and outside the University. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Investigative Dermatology in 1967-1972; Chair of the Michigan Governor's PBB Scientific Panel, State of Michigan in 1976; a member of the NASA/AIBS Flight Proposal Peer Review Panel in 1978; and a member of the National Environmental Health Sciences council, NIEHS/NIH in 1984-87. Locally, he chaired the Advisory Board, Recreation Department of the Public Schools and City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor Civic Center Committee.
His many honors include the Taube International Memorial Award for Research in Psoriasis, a Visiting Professorship at Rockefeller University, the Stephen Rothman Memorial Award of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, and the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award of the University of Michigan. In June 1989 he received the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor and Government of Japan for promoting dermatological research interaction at the international level. In April 1990, he was named Honorary Professor of Kunming University, People's Republic of China.
The author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and numerous book chapters and other scholarly works, Is devoted boundless energy to teaching and to nurturing and encouraging young minds. He chaired at least 25 dissertation committees, and nearly one hundred graduate students received research training in his laboratory and benefited from his mentorship. All of these students enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Bernstein family. Is and Claire Bernstein were married on September 8, 1941. They went on to have two daughters, Lynne Bernstein and Amy (Colton); two sons-in-law, David Dull and Ken Colton; and two grandsons, Andrew and Joshua Colton.
In 1990, Professor Bernstein retired to assume the title "Active Emeritus Professor", which permitted him to continue his pursuit of new knowledge at his “usual” rapid pace. Sadly, he died on January 11th 1998 at the age of 78. The Isadore A. Bernstein Symposium is dedicated to his memory and the scientific ideals that he spent his life advocating and exploring.