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Planetary Health Annual Meeting Speakers

 

 

The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of universities, NGOs, and other partners committed to advancing planetary health — an interdisciplinary field focused on characterizing the human health impacts of human-caused disruptions of Earth’s natural systems. Researchers, scholars and leaders from around the world will convene at Stanford University to focus on solutions. Here is a selection of speakers. Click on their photos to learn more.

 

 


Selected speakers, moderators and panelists.

Bill McKibben

Author. Educator. Environmentalist.

Bill McKibben

Author. Educator. Environmentalist.

Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.

The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.”

A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books,National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, where he spends as much time as possible outdoors . In 2014, biologists honored him by naming a new species of woodland gnat— Megophthalmidia mckibbeni–in his honor.

Sam Myers

Director, Planetary Health Alliance

Sam Myers

Director, Planetary Health Alliance

Sam Myers works at the intersection of human health and global environmental change. He received his BA from Harvard College, his MD from Yale Medical School, performed his residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and received his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a Principle Research Scientist, Planetary Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Planetary Health Alliance.

For two years, Dr. Myers was the founding Field Manager of an integrated conservation and human health project in the Qomolangma Nature Preserve in Tibet. He then worked in the Global Health Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as an AAAS fellow where he designed a new mechanism for administering and studying projects that integrate human health, population growth, and environmental change in developing countries. After two years as an AAAS fellow, Dr. Myers was hired by Conservation International as a Senior Director to run the Healthy Communities Initiative, a $5 million project to design and implement integrated conservation and human health activities in biodiversity hotspot regions around the world.

After finishing a clinical research fellowship in General Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dr. Myers began a research career focused on quantifying the human health impacts of large scale, anthropogenic environmental change. He is currently the principle investigator on four transdisciplinary research projects that include: 1) quantifying the impact of rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 on the nutrient content of crops and the impacts of these changes on the distribution of deficiencies of micronutrients like iron and zinc for the national populations of 176 countries; 2) quantifying the importance of access to terrestrial and marine wildlife species as a source of macro and micronutrients in the diets of subsistence populations; 3) quantifying the human health impacts of landscape fires in SE Asia and developing new tools that allow fine-grained modeling of the specific morbidity and mortality for a particular population attributable to specific land use types and geographic locations; and 4) modeling the nutritional vulnerability of different populations around the world to loss of animal pollinators with respect to specific micronutrients. In addition, he is co-leading new research efforts focused on quantifying the nutritional importance of access to fisheries at both local (in Madagascar) and global scales. Dr. Myers is a Commissioner on the Rockefeller Foundation—Lancet Commission on Planetary Health and is the recipient of the Prince Albert II of Monaco—Institut Pasteur Award 2015 for “outstanding contributions to the field of global environmental and climatic changes and their impacts on human health.”

 

Dr. Myers will lead the Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, September 4 at 1p and the plenary session on Mobilizing a Planetary Health Movement on Thursday, September 5 at 2:10p.