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Climate, Health, Economic Inequality the Focus of New Policy Pub Sessions

January 2, 2018


Faculty members Chris Uejio, Katrinell Davis, and David Rasmussen present at Policy Pub for Spring Semester 2018.

Policy Pub, the popular public forum series at Backwoods Bistro, returns for three new sessions with topics that address key issues affecting everyone’s lives. The monthly sessions of the Pub will feature brief, plain-language talks by faculty of the Florida State University College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, followed by questions and discussion from the public.

The January 2018 Pub features a presentation by Assistant Professor of Geography Christopher Uejio: “Public Health in the Face of Climate Change.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place Tuesday, January 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at Backwoods Bistro, 401 E. Tennessee St. at the corner of Gadsden St., Tallahassee.

Dr. Uejio is well versed in this topic. His research focuses on health effects related to climate change, including heat waves and diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as the Zika virus, and by water. He co-authored the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework and frequently works with health departments to understand and adapt to climate change.

In 2016, Uejio received a $1 million grant to help county health departments across Florida assess potential environmental problems that would affect public health and develop action plans to combat these problems. In 2017, he published research drawing a link between the impact of climate change and untreated drinking water on the rate of gastrointestinal illness in children.

“This is a very real environmental crisis,” he said. “We want to look at ways to strengthen our institutions and infrastructure in order to help society withstand and recover from natural disasters as well as climate change.”

After the brief talk, the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue on the topic.

Policy Pubs take place in the relaxed atmosphere in the bar area of Backwoods Bistro at the corner of Tennessee and Gadsden streets. Guests can enjoy food and drink from the menu while listening to and talking about the evening’s topic. Because these events are very well attended, the public is encouraged to arrive early to get a good parking spot in the restaurant’s lot or surrounding streets and a good table inside.

The series continues on February 20 with a presentation by Associate Professor of Sociology Katrinell Davis, “Could the Next Water Crisis Be in Tallahassee?” Davis will talk about her work on the Flint Water crisis and how this kind of disaster could happen in any of America’s cities.

The final session of this series on March 20 features a talk by David Rasmussen, Dean Emeritus of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy and the James H. Gapinski Professor of Economics: “Long-Term Consequences of Economic Inequality.” The series will return in Fall 2018 for three more monthly sessions.

For more info about Policy Pub, call 850-644-6284.