University Distinguished Professor & Director of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute
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
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.
Health social movements
Reporting back chemical exposures to participants
flame retardants, per- and polyfluorinated compounds (PFAS)
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.