Phil BrownUniversity Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences, Director, Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute
- College of Social Sciences & Humanities
- Department of Health Sciences
Office: 318 INV
Phil Brown is University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Science, and directs the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute. He is the author of No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action, and Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement, and co-editor of Social Movements in Health, and Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science and Health Social Movements. He studies biomonitoring and household exposure and reporting back data to participants, flame retardants, perfluorinated compounds (https://pfasproject.com/), and health social movements. He directs an NIEHS T-32 training program, “Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health and Social Science.” He co-directs the Community Outreach and Translation Core of Northeastern’s Children’s Environmental Health Center (CRECE) and directs the Research Translation Core and co-directs the Community Engagement Core of Northeastern’s Superfund Research Program (PROTECT). He is on the National Advisory Environmental Health Science Council, which advises the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
- B.A., June, 1970, Long Island University, History cum laude
- M.A., June, 1971, New York University, U.S. Social History
- Ph.D., May, 1979, Brandeis University, Sociology
Affiliation with Centers/Institutes:
- Director, Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute
- Director of NIEHS T-32 training program, “Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health and Social Science.”
- PROTECT (Superfund Research Program – Director of Research Translation Core
- Co-Director of Community Engagement Core )
- CRECE (Children’s Environmental Health Center – Co-Director of Community Outreach and Translation Core); Global Resilience Initiative
- Jewish Studies (Executive Committee)
Research Interests: environmental health, environmental justice, health social movements,repoting back chemical expsoures to participants, flame retardants, per- and polyfluorinated compounds (PFAS)
Selected Honors & Awards:
- 2015 Recipient of the Practice and Outreach Award, American Sociological Association Environment and Technology Section
- 2012 Recipient of the Leo G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Contribution to Medical Sociology, American Sociological Association Medical Sociology Section
- 2006 Recipient of the Fred Buttel Distinguished Contribution to Environmental Sociology Award, American Sociological Association Environment and Technology Section
- 1985-1986 Peter Livingston Fellowship, Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry
Selected Recent Publications:
- Holli Levitsky and Phil Brown (eds.), Summer Haven: The Catskills, the Holocaust, and the Literary Imagination. 2015, Academic Studies Press.
- Phil Brown, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Stephen Zavestoski, and the Contested Illnesses Research Group, Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science and Health Social Movements (2012, University of California Press).
- Phil Brown, Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement (2007, Columbia University Press).
- PFAS Project: Multi-faceted lab group studying per- and polyfluorinated compounds through two NSF and two National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grants. Includes biomonitoring study of immunotoxic effects on children’s vaccinations; water testing; study of community activism; creating maps and databases of contamination sites; national conferences; ethnographic studies.
- Environmental Data and Governance Initiative: Founding member and Steering Committee Member. This 180-person organization analyzes federal environmental data, websites, institutions, and policy through: 1)archiving vulnerable environmental data, 2) monitoring changes to information about the environment, energy, and climate on federal websites, 3) interviewing federal employees about threats and changes to environmental health agencies, 4) publishing in academic journals, white papers, and mass media, and 5) imagining, conceptualizing, and moving toward Environmental Data Justice.
Selected Public Service:
- Member of National Advisory Environmental Health Council (NIEHS Council
- Member of Advisory Committee for Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (modeled after the National Academies) in its role to support the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment in developing a program on emerging contaminants.
Director, Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute:
The mission of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute is to conduct social science-oriented research, teaching, community engagement, and policy work in the area of environmental health.
SSEHRI website: https://www.northeastern.edu/environmentalhealth/
PFAS Chemicals Lab Group website: https://pfasproject.com/
Personal Website: For full details on research and publications, please see: www.northeastern.edu/philbrown/