Brown University

Contested Illnesses Research Group
Brown University , Providence RI

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Flame Retardants:Their Social Discovery as a Case Study for Emerging Contaminants

Toxic Ignorance and the New Right-To-Know: The Implications of Biomonitoring for Regulatory Science

Ethical and Legal Challenges in Communicating Individual Biomonitoring and Personal Exposure Results to Study Participants: Guidance for Researchers and Institutional Review Boards

Reuse in RI: A State-Based Approach to Complex Exposures - Superfund Research Program - Community Engagement Core

Formative Center for the Evaluation of Environmental Impacts on Fetal Development - Community Outreach and Translation Core


Contested Illnesses: Disputes Over Environmentally-Induced Disease

Citizen-Science Alliances in Contested Environmental Diseases

Blue and Green Shades of Health: The Social Construction of Health Risks in the Labor and Environmental Movements

Linking Breast Cancer Advocacy and Environmental Justice

The "Research Right-to-Know:" Ethics and Values in Communicating Environmental Health Study Results to Individuals and Communities

Our original work focused on the interaction of social movement actors with scientists in three specific contested illnesses: Gulf War illnesses, asthma, and breast cancer. Our work has demonstrated the formidable impact of Health Social Movements on science, by advocating for funding to execute novel science, changing the questions science asks, and altering how science is done (with, for example, citizens participating either by sitting on review panels or by participating directly in scientific work).

This work has led us to study coalitions and alliances between labor organizations and environmental groups. This work also explores the role of laypeople in the construction of scientific knowledge about environmental health and seeks to identify the strategies that occupational and environmental organizations can leverage to pursue improved health in the workplace and the community.

A more recent project is a multisite study that includes Brown researchers and two community organizations: Silent Spring Institute (Massachusetts) and Communities for a Better Environment (California). This project links breast cancer and environmental justice advocacy through a variety of approaches, including home air sampling and public educational forums.

Click the links at the left to learn more about specific research projects. Publications for all projects are listed on the Publications list