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Kirk Smith to Speak at Duke

By Eddy Ball
February 2010

Smith, above, has also been honored for his academic accomplishments, which include appointments as chair of the Graduate Group in Environmental Health Sciences and the Brian and Jennifer Maxwell Endowed Chair in Public Health. (Photo courtesy of Kirk Smith and the Heinz Family Foundation)

Veteran NIEHS grantee Kirk Smith, Ph.D., will be at Duke University on Feb. 17 to present a seminar on global health that is open to the public free of charge. He will speak on "Incomplete Combustion-the Unfinished Global Agenda for Health, Environment and Climate Protection," from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Perkins Library, Room 217, on the Duke campus. The Duke Global Health Institute( Exit NIEHS is sponsoring the talk.

Smith is the director of the Global Health and Environment Program and a professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, where he holds the Maxwell Endowed Chair in Public Health. He is also founder and coordinator of the campus-wide Masters Program in Health, Environment, and Development. He was founder and head of the Energy Program of the East-West Center in Honolulu, where he still holds an appointment as adjunct senior fellow in Environment and Health. He is also a visiting senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center.

His research work focuses on environmental and health issues in developing countries, particularly those related to health-damaging and climate-changing air pollution from energy production and use. His research includes ongoing field measurements and health effects projects in India, Nepal, and Guatemala, as well as in China where he has worked since 1981.

Smith was one of the NIEHS speakers at a pre-Copenhagen 15 "Public Health Impacts of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions" event Dec. 14, 2009 in Washington (watch video). A Dec. 21, 2009 New Yorker Annals of Invention article on heating and cooking stove technology for people in developing countries, "Hearth Surgery,"( Exit NIEHS featured Smith's pioneering work on the health effects of indoor air pollution.

Smith serves on a number of national and international scientific advisory and editorial boards, including those for the WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines and for the Global Energy Assessment, and he has published over 230 scientific articles and seven books. In 1997, was elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and in Sept. 2009, he received one of the 15th annual Heinz Awards(, complete with a prize of $100,000.

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