Discussion: Is Your Body a Toxic Site? Reproductive Health as an Environmental Issue


An event presented by the Politics of Evidence Working Group in partnership with Environmental Defence.

Join us for this public forum connecting reproductive and environmental health in our everyday encounters with endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Come learn about endocrine-disruptors, the extent of our contact with them, and how the degree of our vulnerability is linked to what is done (or not done) by scientists, the government, industry, environmentalists, and ourselves as concerned consumers. Engage with our speakers in thinking about the politics of evidence in what we are allowed to know and not know about our exposure. The event will be a lively discussion cutting across areas of science, law, science studies, and environmental activism.

When: Friday, May 15, 2015
Where: University of Toronto, 75 Queen’s Park Crescent E., Emmanuel College, Room 001
Time: 7pm. Doors will open at 6pm.
Admission: Free. Space is Limited. Register to Attend.

*Please note that at 6:45pm, your seat may be released to first come, first served.

The event hopes to spark conversations around the questions of:
How is human reproductive health affected by everyday encounters with a group of chemicals
known as endocrine-disruptors? What does the current research tell us? How are endocrine-disruptors regulated here in Canada? Why don’t we know more?

Our speakers will discuss the mounting scientific evidence of the reproductive risks of exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals which circulate in products such as plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, and flame retardants. Since the 1990s when scientists discovered feminized fish in the water, an explosion of scientific research has linked endocrine-disrupting chemicals to a range of reproductive disorders such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer, genital malformations, breast cancer, infertility, uterine tumours, and endometriosis.

This evening promises to raise our awareness of these chemicals while broadening our understanding of reproductive health as an environmental issue from a scientific, legal, and historical perspective. Join a scientist, a lawyer and a science studies scholar to discuss the current debates endocrine-disruptors pose for science, government, and industry and what you can do to change it.

The Speakers:

Miriam Diamond is a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences (as of July 1, 2012) after her affiliation with the Department of Geography and Planning since 1991. She is cross-appointed to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, School of the Environment, and the Physical and Environmental Sciences Program at Scarborough College. She received her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Toronto (1976), M.Sc. from the University of Alberta in Zoology (1980), M.Sc.Eng from Queen’s University (Kingston Ontario) in Mining Engineering (1984), and her Ph.D. from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry from University of Toronto (1990).

The goal of Prof. Diamond’s multidisciplinary research program is to improve our understanding of chemical contaminants from emission, through to transport indoors and outdoors, and ultimately human and ecological exposure. This research has been published in over 100 articles and chapters in addition to receiving media attention. Prof. Diamond is an Associate Editor of the journal Environmental Science and Technology which is a leading journal in the field, a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Environmental Law Association and was, until recently, a member of the Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission of Canada. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Geographical Society and was named Canadian Environmental Scientist of the Year in 2007 by that society. She was Co-chair of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s Toxic Reduction Scientific Expert Panel and just completed acting as Co-chair of the Ministry’s Multi-Stakeholder Panel on the “Living List” of the Toxics Reduction Act.

Dayna Nadine Scott is an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. She was the Director of the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health from 2008-2013. Her edited collection, Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics, and Environmental Health, was recently released by UBC Press. Dayna researches in the areas of toxics regulation, environmental justice organizing, and gender and environmental health.

Michelle Murphy is a professor in the History Department and Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. She has a PhD in the History of Science from Harvard University and a Bachelors Degree in Biology and the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Sick Building Syndrome (2006), Seizing the Means of Reproduction (2012) and co-edited Landscapes of Exposure.

She is the director of the Technoscience Research Unit and co-organizer of the Technoscience Salon.

Panel Discussion Host:

Maggie Macdonald, Program Manager, Toxics, Environmental Defence
Maggie conducts research and public education on environmental health, with a focus on endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. She holds a Masters in Social and Political Thought from York University where she wrote on the topic of agnotology.

About the Organizers and Sponsors:

The Politics of Evidence Working Group is based at York University. The Politics of Evidence Working Group (PoE) is a coalition of academics, scientists, and activists committed to challenging the fraught politics of evidence in Canada which interfere with our right to know about the well-being of our bodies, communities, and environments. It is the organizer of The Write2Know Project http://write2know.ca/, which provides the public with an opportunity to ask federal scientists and Ministers about the results of the government’s environmental monitoring and scientific research programs.

Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and more prosperous life for all. Maggie Macdonald leads Environmental Defence’s KickOut Toxics Campaign. Maggie Macdonald will be the MC of the event.

This event has been supported by The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Canadian Environmental Law Association, The Environmental Health Institute of Canada, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Scientists for the Right To Know, Technoscience Research Unit, the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, and Women’s Healthy Environments Network.

For more information, please contact:
Carla Hustak, carla.hustak@utoronto.ca
Janet Patterson, events@environmentaldefence.ca


Politics of Evidence Working Group Event Page: