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Making Knowledge Human

St. Louis Community College-Wildwood launched its inaugural "Making Knowledge Human Series" on Feb. 20, 2016 with a special symposium on nuclear waste and occupational illness. Titled, "The Atoms Next Door," the symposium featured a keynote presentation by Helen Caldicott, MD, Australian physician, author, internationally-known advocate and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. During the keynote, Dr. Caldicott addressed the context and consequences of nuclear weapons production, especially for human health and the environment.

Following the keynote, a panel of local and national officials joined Dr. Caldicott in a conversation about nuclear waste. Panelists included: Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and former senior policy advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment (1993-1999); Denise Brock, ombudsman for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Office of Compensation Analysis and Support and the Centers for Disease Control; Sam Page, MD, St. Louis County Councilman (Dist. 2); and Mark Harder, St. Louis County Councilman (Dist. 7). Ray Hartmann, of "St. Louis Magazine" and "Donnybrook," facilitated the discussion between the panel and the audience.

The event also featured a reception and art gallery exhibit with work inspired by the people and communities affected by nuclear waste. The exhibit included paintings, drawings and photographs from three artists: Christen Commuso, founder of the "Humans of West Lake Landfill" Facebook page; Jason Hargrove, creator of the "Contaminate St. Louis" exhibit; and Chris Davis, son of the first Mallinckrodt claimant to be compensated under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).
About the Symposium

"Making Knowledge Human" was created by Assistant Professor Gwendolyn Verhoff, PhD. The series aims to promote public understanding of academic subjects and broad engagement with humanities by bringing the public into conversation with experts. The symposium was sponsored by: The United Energy Workers Healthcare, Four Corners Health Care, Professional Case Management, Cold War Patriots, Critical Nurse Staffing, Carol's Corner Florist & Gifts, Table Three and Treat America Food Services.