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"Sandra Steingraber brings poetry to science and makes them dance. Her lectures open hearts as well as minds. She elucidates. She inspires."
Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D.
is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links
to cancer and human health.
Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment, presents cancer as a human rights issue. It was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with newly released data from U.S. cancer registries. Living Downstream won praise from international media, including The Washington Post, the Nation, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, The Lancet, and The London Times. Steingraber was named a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year, and later received the Jenifer Altman Foundation’s first annual Altman Award for “the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer,” and from the American Medical Writers Association, the Will Solimene Award for “excellence in medical communication.” The Sierra Club heralded Steingraber as “the new Rachel Carson”, and Carson’s own alma mater, Chatham College, selected Steingraber to receive its biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award.
Continuing the investigation begun in Living Downstream,
Steingraber’s new work, Having
Faith: An Ecologist’s
Journey to Motherhood, explores the intimate ecology of motherhood.
Both a memoir of her own pregnancy and an investigation of fetal
toxicology, Having Faith reveals the alarming extent to
which environmental hazards now threaten each crucial stage of
infant development. In the eyes of an ecologist, the mother’s
body is the first environment for human life. The Library Journal selected Having
Faith asa bestbook of 2001, and it was featured on “Kids
and Chemicals,” a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers. Most recently,
Sandra has contributed to What We Do Now, an anthology
of individual manifestos outlining a series of passionate new ideas
An enthusiastic and sought-after public speaker, Steingraber has
keynoted conferences on human health and the environment throughout
the United States and Canada and has been invited to lecture at
many universities, medical schools, and teaching hospitals--including
Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. She
is recognized for her ability to serve as a two-way translator
between scientists and activists. In 1999, as part of international
treaty negotiations, she briefed U.N.. delegates in Geneva, Switzerland
on dioxin contamination of breast milk. Interviews with Steingraber
have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The Cleveland
Plain Dealer, on National Public Radio, “The Today Show”,
and “Now” with Bill Moyers.
Steingraber is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Ithaca College. She received her doctorate in biology from the University of Michigan and master’s degree in English from Illinois State University. She is the author of Post-Diagnosis, a volume of poetry, and co-author of a book on ecology and human rights in Africa, The Spoils of Famine. She has taught biology at Columbia College, Chicago, held visiting fellowships at the University of Illinois, Radcliffe/Harvard, and Northeastern University, and served on President Clinton’s National Action Plan on Breast Cancer.
This information was obtained by the Jodi F. Solomon Speakers Bureau.