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Science Wednesday: Emerging Science

2011 August 31

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

By Dimetrius Simon

Recently I attended “Emerging Science for Environment Health Decisions” conference as a student contractor to the EPA.  I had just started and this was a new opportunity for me to hear first-hand from scientific experts about the advances that are emerging for new tools and improved approaches in environmental health decisions. For me, it was an introduction to the world of science.

Coming from a job at the Washington Post, this science conference once again opened my eyes to the intricate and fascinating study of environmental science that I can recollect from my college days. Not only did I find it intense and exciting at the same time, I also felt a keen sense of comfort as I sat amongst a room full of scientists taking notes on presentations some of which I may have had little experience on, but great interest in learning more about.

As I listened to Lesa Aylward – principal at Summit Toxicology – talk about Biomonitoring and how this exposure tool is useful when particular chemicals are widespread and frequent in a selected population; then I heard EPA’s Dr. Thomas Knudsen’s talk about predictive models with liver tumors and rat fertility. It occurred to me that a mobile App would be a great tool to demonstrate some of these concepts.

As EPA evolves in the mobile world and attracts a bigger audience, I think that there’s no better way to allow EPA scientists to display cool graphs that depict their latest scientific findings than on an App. We live in a fast and mobile society and easy access to relevant and quick new information is a must. Having a mobile App to enable scientists, professionals and students to share their cool findings, photo galleries, data and graphs, would be very intriguing.

In fact, I think , after listening to this conference, and seeing the passion of these scientists, that it’s a wonderful feeling to see how working on the smallest things and using them to create something much bigger could potentially save a life, a community or even bring us a step closer to a cure or prevention. I feel like my awareness of this “science” in my everyday life will improve the decisions I make as I try to attend as many more EPA conferences to learn as much as possible about the world of environmental science.

About the Author: Dimetrius Simon is a student contractor working with EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Craig permalink
    August 31, 2011

    I find Environmental Health one of the more interesting areas of Environmental Science. That being said, like the more well know issues associated with the Environmental Field, Envrionmental Health issues will probably not gain widespread public notice due to the delayed effects that these issues have on individuals. Undoubtedly there are specific instances of acute injuries that result from unmitigated environmental issues, however my experience indicates that the vast majority of injuries do not appear for years, decades, and even generations (in the case of certain pesticide applications). I believe the goal of the individuals working in this field is to bridge awareness from acute happenings to those happening on longer time scales in order to garner increased interest from the public.

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