CEF Director to Speak in Manchester on Environmental Health in China

Nov 18, 2007

On November 30 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Dr. Jennifer Turner will speak at a workshop in the Whitworth Council Chamber in Manchester on "Environment and Health in China - Interdisciplinary Perspectives."

Reports on environmental degradation in China appear every day in the Chinese press, alongside government plans to deal with pollution and appease discontent. Issues surrounding environment and health in China are also frequently debated in academic writing. To date, the literature on this area is rich with data from the point of view of environmental agencies and NGOs, but lacks in-depth social science analysis of the issues involved. Where such analyses do exist, they concern issues of either health (notably healthcare reform, SARS and AIDS) or the environment (such as water and air pollution or food safety). Environmental pollution remains largely discussed in terms of its threat to continued economic development, and with reference to social stability, leaving the connection between environment and health largely unexplored.

The Centre for Chinese Studies and the Society and Environment Research Group (SERG) at the University of Manchester will co-host a workshop on ‘Environment and Health in China - Interdisciplinary Perspectives', sponsored by the British Inter-University China Centre (BICC).

This event will bring together scholars with backgrounds in anthropology, development studies, economics, political science, and law, as well as members of NGOs. It will offer a forum for debating the relationship between environment and public health in China from a range of social science perspectives. Environmental pollution is not only a development concern that influences productivity but also a medical and social welfare issue affecting on human health. Building on this premise, the workshop is intended to further interdisciplinary understanding of the socio-political, cultural and economic contexts within which the connection between environment and health is situated.

Confirmed speakers include:

Jennifer Turner, Director of the China Environment Forum (Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars).

Wang Canfa, Lawyer, Director of the Centre for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, and Professor at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law in Beijing.

Jackson Tung, Yunnan Reproductive Health Research Association, member of a project on environment and health in China funded by the Rockfeller Brothers.

Isabel Hilton, journalist, broadcaster and founder and editor of chinadialogue.net, a Chinese-English website devoted to debating environmental issues in China

For further information, please contact Dr. Anna Lora-Wainwright at Anna.Lora-Wainwright@manchester.ac.uk.

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