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Environmental Health To Be Seminar Topic

Physicians from the organization which won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for educating the public about the medical consequences of nuclear war will launch at MIT next month a similar effort focused on the medical impact of a deteriorating environment.

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) will present on October 10-11 at Kresge Auditorium the first in a national series of symposiums, "Human Health and the Environment."

Dr. Eric Chivian, a psychiatrist on the MIT medical staff and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is directing the symposium with Dr. Michael McCally of the University of Chicago Medical School.

Dr. Chivian is a co-founder of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which was the recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.

"In the early 1980s," Dr. Chivian said, "physicians organized to help translate the abstract, complex science of nuclear war into concrete, personal human terms. . . . We begin again [with the new effort] to educate the medical community, environmentalists and the public about another issue that is equally important to the health and survival of people on this planet-the medical consequences of environmental degradation."

Sen. Timothy E. Wirth (D. Colo.) will deliver the keynote address. He will be introduced by Sen. John F. Kerry (D. Mass.). A former Republican US representative, Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island, will moderate a panel discussion on the recent environmental conference in Brazil.

Others from MIT who will take part in the symposium include Arnold Weinberg, chairman of the MIT Medical Department and professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Professor Henry Kendall, the 1990 Nobel winner in physics, who will chair a panel on the forces driving environmental degradation, and Professor William G. Thilly, director of the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, who will discuss surface and ground-water pollution.

The registration fee for the symposium, sponsored by the PSR, the Harvard School of Public Health, MIT, the United Nations Environment Program and are medical schools, is $200. Students with valid identification may register for $50.

A version of this article appeared in the September 30, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 8).

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