Faculty in the Global Public Health and the Common Good are committed to advancing research in a diverse range of fields. Students are invited to participate in this research and to become involved in projects of significant importance to modern societies.
Areas of major research interest within the program are:
- The spread of pandemics,
- Nutrition and health.
- Health impacts of pollution and climate change, and
- The ethical and legal foundations of public health
The Global Observatory on Pollution and Health was established in the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society at Boston College in 2018. It continues the work of the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, led by Observatory Director Dr. Philip Landrigan, which reported in 2018 that pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths each year. The Lancet Commission concluded also that pollution can be prevented. It outlined a global strategy to control pollution, prevent disease and save lives.
The mission of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health is execute the pollution control strategy articulated by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. The Observatory aggregates, archives, and analyzes data on pollution and pollution-related disease in cities and countries around the world. It offers evidence-based recommendations for pollution prevention. Specific research areas are:
- It examines data on pollution and disease to discern trends, geographic patterns, and opportunities for intervention.
- It uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to generate pollution and disease maps.
- It conducts economic studies to estimate the costs of the disease and environmental degradation produced by pollution and the economic benefits to be achieved through pollution control.
- It draws on data from multiple sources including the Global Burden of Disease study, the World Health Organization, UN Environment, the World Bank, Google Earth, the U.S. Geological Survey, and CDC’s National Biomonitoring Program.
The Global Observatory on Pollution and Health makes its findings widely available to researchers, policy makers, civil society, the media and the global public through a series of carefully curated, impactful reports.
To further advance its work, the Observatory has established formal partnerships in research with UN Environment and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco.
The work of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health is intended to guide research on pollution and its health effects; close gaps in knowledge; inform the development of energy and environmental policy; and assist cities and countries to identify their worst forms of pollution, prioritize interventions, track progress toward pollution control, and save lives.