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Engaged Scholarship in the Sciences: Community-Based Research, Service Learning, Grants, and Publications Phil Brown Professor of Sociology and Environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "Engaged Scholarship in the Sciences: Community-Based Research, Service Learning, Grants, and Publications Phil Brown Professor of Sociology and Environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaged Scholarship in the Sciences: Community-Based Research, Service Learning, Grants, and Publications Phil Brown Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies Brown University Tulane University Center for Public Service and Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching November 7, 2011

2 My focus is on how social scientists can work in interdisciplinary projects with life scientists and natural scientists, even though I also do a lot of work that involves primarily social science

3 forms of community engagement Community Engaged Activity Like CBPR, the needs of communities are central. Service and education, rather than research -- topics are identified by and useful to community partners. Most projects supported by Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service are like this. Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Collaborative, equitable involvement of all partners in all phases of the research, from design to dissemination. Much of my work is like this, but I also do much of the first type. Furthermore, CEA and CBPR can interact…

4 For example, our Environmental Justice seminar sends many students into the field, working with community groups with whom we have prior involvement. Some of their work involves research as well as service: 50-state survey of state guidelines on school siting on contaminated land – published as EPA document and in another form by Center for Health, Environment, and Justice Some of their service work gets published in major journals: One class project worked with a community toxics groups (Environmental Awareness Committee of Tiverton) to pass state law establishing ECHO (Environmentally Compromised Home Ownership Loan Program). Article on this published in Environmental Science & Technology

5 For me, the two are part of a whole Working with students on CES prepares them for CBPR in terms of their sensibilities, ethics, and experience Students may go back and forth between the two, just as I do However…I will focus on CBPR, since the research end provides grants and publications, which is a focus for us today

6 How to build departmental interest: discussions of public sociology in Sociology Department following 2004 talk by ASA President Michael Burawoy on “public sociology” Forum on “Public Sociology Meets Community-Based Participatory Research” 6 workshops over the rest of the year, featuring presentations by graduate students and faculty from Sociology and other departments One of my doctoral students suggested this, in part because of what our research group does and in part because she was a member of ASA Task Force on Public Sociology

7 Principles of Community-Based Participatory Research CBPR Address issues affecting community partners Build community capacity Report findings using accessible language Knowledge and power are linked Creation of new knowledge should be liberating Be respectful about community needs when reporting data Adhere to ethics of mutual respect, open communication, and recognition of knowledge, expertise, and resource capacities of all partners All participants are co-learners Co-ownership of data Credit and recognition for project shared equally - Schulz, Israel, Selig, and Bayer, 1997 ; Schultz, Parker, Becker, 1998; Southeast Community Research Center

8 Rationale for CBPR Increases quality and validity of research Builds community capacity Improves relevance and utility of data for all partners Pools diversity of skills, knowledge, and expertise applied to a research question or problem. Provides additional money and employment opportunities for community partners -Israel, Schulz, Parker, and Becker, 1998

9 Institutionalization of CBPR “Best-Practice” Guidelines—National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Federal RFAs CDC—Urban Health Centers National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences NIH-wide programs Agency for Health Care Research & Quality Environmental Protection Agency WF Kellogg Foundation Ford Foundation Institutionalized Lay Participation on Review Panels Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program California Breast Cancer Research Program

10 CBPR and Community Engagement in NIEHS Beginning in early 1990s, supported various grant programs:  Environmental Justice  Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)  Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications

11 CBPR and Community Engagement in NIEHS Community Engagement Cores required in major center and program grants ($1-16 million): Superfund Research Program Children’s Environmental Health Centers (joint with EPA) Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers Environmental Health Core Centers – CBPR is part of many RFAs in the Partnerships in Environmental Public Health Program (PEPH) – Community Engagement Core in Superfund Research Program Centers now able to have full research project

12 Tensions in Collaborative Research Fundamental inequalities: Salary differentials Funds for infrastructure support Indirect costs at universities eat up much budget Legacy of “helicopter” research Institutional racism—predominance of white academics and scientists working in communities of color. Who represents the community? IRB: will university IRBs cover CBOs? Sampling design—aligning scientific standards for sampling with community groups’ needs

13 Tensions in Collaborative Research CBOs & research: time consuming  mission drift? Enough time for evaluating collaborative processes and outcomes? What will happen if we have negative findings? Geographic distance between groups (e.g. SUNY Albany as partner with Alaska Community Action on Toxics)

14 Teaching Potential CBPR and community-engaged teaching often use service learning projects:  liven up class  provide data not otherwise available  show students relevant applications and prepare them for real-world applications  offer capacity to teach ethics of academic-community partnerships  teach students about how university serves its community

15 Publication Potential Our CBPR and community-engaged work has been published in top journals : Journal of Health and Social Behavior American Journal of Public Health Environmental Health Perspectives Environmental Health Environmental Science & Technology Social Science and Medicine Sociology of Health and Illness Science, Technology, and Human Values Health Affairs Sociological Forum

16 Impact of a Research Group Contested Illnesses Research Group (CIRG) – Started 2000 – “Social science lab” – analog to science lab – Currently two faculty, 3 postdocs, 6 doctoral students – Weekly meeting for discussion of articles in progress, grant writing, guest scholars, discussion of outreach and engagement activities – Training and socialization in all components of interdisciplinary work, much of it with biomedical scientists – this includes joint appointments, as with current Mellon postdoc in Environmental Studies and Pathology, teaching a course in each

17 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI CIRG has published  44 articles  6 books

18 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Forthcoming, Phil Brown, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Stephen Zavestoski, and the Contested Illnesses Research Group Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science and Health Social Movements December 2011 University of California Press

19 Highlights of CIRG students Laura Senier – University of Wisconsin-Madison: joint appointment in Community and Environmental Sociology and Medical School/Department of Family Medicine -excellent score on K-grant Brian Mayer - University of Florida: Joint appointment in Sociology and Public Health -co-PI on large program grant: NIEHS Deepwater Horizon grant Sabrina McCormick – George Washington University – School of Public Health -just finished as AAAS Fellow at EPA -co-PI on multisite CDC grant on climate change and health -PI on EPA grant on Deepwater Horizon oil spill Rebecca Altman – Tufts University adjunct; freelance writer; board of Science and Environmental Health Network and collaborator with Sandra Steingraber Elizabeth Hoover – Brown University: Departments of Ethnic Studies and American Studies

20 Social Science/Natural and Life Science Collaboration Efforts at Brown This is a central component of my vision and action through my research group We are very involved in Science and Technology Studies Program, which is one of few in the US which has predominance of non-social scientists – Associate Dean of the College for Science provides space in Science Center and some financial support Vice President for Research asked STS to arrange 2-hour presentation on relevance of STS to large science projects – NSF’s STS Program Director was lead speaker, along with Brown STS Program faculty and an outside scholar working on genetics Dean of the College now convening workgroup to either offer course on interdisciplinary work, or series of discussions

21 Funding Potential This is a growing area and researchers will ignore it at their peril!! Example: my funding in this area

22 Funding Potential First: An array of past and present funded projects My research group has: -Become the go-to location for social science involvement in large science projects at Brown -Been engaged in long-term partnership with toxicologists, epidemiologists, exposure scientists at Silent Spring Institute and University of California- Berkeley

23 What you’ll see from these examples is that by doing this kind of CBPR and related research, we are well-equipped to deal with: – NSF requirements for “Broader Impacts” Dissemination to lay audiences, with lay involvement Contributions to public policy and regulatory agency needs Education and training component Ethics concerns integrated into both dissemination, outreach, and research itself – NIH “Significance” Go beyond just significance to the field Talk about NIH mission (and also specific mission of Institute or Center), which is increasingly about research translation, and often includes community involvement, if not CBPR outright – Our ethics-related work has been especially helpful…

24 NSF Ethics Training Grant Provides Useful Support Ethics training session for trainees of T32 Pathobiology Training Program and Superfund Research Program – Brings in faculty, as well as postdocs and students Research ethics presentations to individual departments, followed by certificate training programs for graduate students Work with School of Engineering to create ethics training

25 COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH: CONTESTED ILLNESSES RESEARCH GROUP Community Environmental Health Research: Finding Meaning – partners: Boston University, Toxics Action Center, Haverhill Environmental League, Health-Link $958,576 (NIEHS) Collaborative Initiative for Research Ethics in Environmental Health – partners: Syracuse University, Southeast Community Research Center, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Massachusetts-Lowell approx $150,000, renewed for approx $150,000 (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute) – led to: “Northeast Ethics Education Partnership for Research Ethics/Cultural Competence Training” $397,984 (NSF)

26 COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH: CONTESTED ILLNESSES RESEARCH GROUP Nanotechnology program grant Micropatterned Nanotopography Chips for Probing the Cellular Basis of Biocompatibility and Toxicity $1,200,000 (NSF) NSF required a Societal and Ethical Implications (SEI) component -Based on Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) component mandated by Congress for Human Genome Research Institute -Example of increasing requirements for social science and humanities involvement in natural and life sciences The SEI Core helped develop graduate nanotechnology survey course, provided guest lectures, surveyed student perception of nano-ethics before and after course exposure, published results in Journal of Nano Education

27 COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH: CONTESTED ILLNESSES RESEARCH GROUP Interdisciplinary Katrina grants “Katrina and the Built Environment: Spatial and Social Impacts” $99,800 (NSF) “Disaster, Resilience, and the Built Environment on the Gulf Coast” $248,806 (NSF) These included Sociology, Geology, Environmental Studies, Community Health – methods included interviews, ethnographic observation, remote sensing, GIS, census analysis

28 COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH: CONTESTED ILLNESSES RESEARCH GROUP Two large program grants Superfund Research Program: “Re-use in Rhode Island: A State-Based Approach to Complex Exposures” $11,520320, renewed for additional $15,392,906 (NIEHS) – partners: Environmental Neighborhood Awareness Committee of Tiverton, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council. Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island Children’s Environmental Health Center: “Formative Center for the Evaluation of Environmental Impacts on Fetal Development” $2,289,097 (NIEHS and EPA) – partners: Silent Spring Institute, Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island

29 COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH: CONTESTED ILLNESSES RESEARCH GROUP CARE For Environmental Justice in Rhode Island – partners: Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island $100,000 (EPA)

30 Of particular attention at Brown Our role in Superfund Research Program re-funding – Community Engagement Core got highest score of all components, putting our application just above the next one, and assured funding Our role in community engagement and research translation – Helps scientists consider how their work can be translated to various audiences Our community work makes up a significant part of Brown’s presence in the community Of particular attention nationally Growing importance of research translation, e.g. at Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting in October 2011, each scientific session was followed by a discussion of the research translation issues and offered suggestions for improvement NIEHS has moved beyond just requiring Community Engagement Cores and Research Translation Cores major program and center grants – some now allow for a CBPR-based science project as one of the projects: Superfund Research Program; Deepwater Horizon special grants program

31 Funding Potential Second: A focus on one project and its many sequelae

32 COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH: CONTESTED ILLNESSES RESEARCH GROUP Linking Breast Cancer Advocacy & Environmental Justice (NIEHS) and Research Right -to-Know: Ethics and Values in Communicating Research Data to Individuals and Communities (NSF) – partners: Silent Spring Institute, Communities for a Better Environment, UC-Berkeley $959,800 (NIEHS) and $407,539 (NSF) Led to: – “Ethical and Legal Challenges in Communicating Individual Biomonitoring and Personal Exposure Results to Study Participants: Guidance for Researchers and Institutional Review Boards” $1,826,012 (NIEHS) – adds partners: Harvard Law School and Harvard School of Public Health – “Toxic Ignorance and the New Right-to-Know: The Implications of Biomonitoring for Regulatory Science.” $407,539 (NSF) – “Flame Retardant Chemicals: Their Social Discovery as a Case Study for Emerging Contaminants” $432,676 (NSF) – Addition (ViCTER) to “Ethical and Legal Challenges in Communicating Individual Biomonitoring and Personal Exposure Results to Study Participants: Guidance for Researchers and Institutional Review Boards.” $1,205,048 (NIEHS) adds partners: Harvard Law School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Department of Computer Science

33 COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH: CONTESTED ILLNESSES RESEARCH GROUP Led to other pending grant: “Data Sharing and Privacy Protection in Digital-Age Environmental Health Studies” approx. $2,000,000 (NIEHS) adds partner: Harvard Department of Computer Science (additional computer scientist)

34 If it’s that easy…??? Junior faculty to need to be aware of issues Potentially longer time in data gathering More complexity in developing projects and writing proposals Potentially longer time in writing articles Need to ensure that chairperson and senior faculty understand Need mentorship from senior faculty in the larger community of engaged scholars

35 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI EXAMPLE OF COLLABORATION Linking Breast Cancer Advocacy and Environmental Justice Community organizer learning air sampling Silent Spring Institute Brown University Communities for a Better Environment University of California-Berkeley

36 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Linking Breast Cancer Advocacy & Environmental Justice – Project Tasks Conduct community-based exposure assessment in Cape Cod and Richmond, CA Community-based outreach and education Develop guidelines for reporting back study results to communities and individual study participants Pilot test an intervention to reduce household pollutant levels

37 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI

38 Why would laypeople choose to be involved? Organizationally:  Citizens for a Better Environment has past history of scientific work Developed the “Bucket Brigade” for low-cost air sampling Tracking flares and emissions from the Chevron refinery Got MTBE cleanup rules Controlled dioxin dumping  Build capacity to do research and challenge environmental contaminants (specifically oil refineries and diesel emissions)  But, it’s their community organizers, not trained in science, who do the air sampling in our project

39 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Why would laypeople choose to be involved? Community residents:  Trust in CBE’s past organizing work  Concern over lived experience of intense pollution from refinery and multiple other sources  Door-to-door recruiting educates and interests people

40 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Opportunities to be involved Organizationally:  One of our team has past relationship with Citizens for a Better Environment  Project is funded by well-respected NIEHS EJ Program  Project can bring financial resources and useful knowledge Community residents:  Refinery operations and potential expansion are always an issue  Two neighborhoods of Liberty Village and Atchison Village are cohesive, with a community center in Atchison Village where events are often held

41 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Processes in Collaboration Collaborative grant writing Monthly teleconference (later, often bi-weekly) Negotiate study site, sampling methods, and pollution sources to include Learn from each other on data collection Discuss how we gain as separate groups and as collaborative Share presentations, documents, connections to other groups Participate at each other’s events

42 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Example of collaboration Choosing Bolinas as “clean” comparison site Develop a sampling frame that meets needs of both researchers and activists  How to get volunteers into sample  20+20=100%

43 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI YOU MUST RSVP-SPACE IS LIMITED! Jessica Guadalupe Tovar, Community Organizer Communities for a Better Environment ext 24 office cell Save The Date!!! Air Sampling Study in Richmond Follow-up Event Saturday March 24 th 10am-12:45pm All community members invited! Food, Music, Questions & Answers Located at Atchison Community Room-1 Collins & Curry Richmond, CA (Near West MacDonald & Gerrard Blvd) Speakers from Silent Spring Institute, Brown University & Communities for a Better Environment BACKGROUND: In summer 2006 Communities for a Better Environment in Partnership with Silent Spring Institute & Brown University conducted an air sampling study in Atchison and Liberty villages. We took air samples from indoor and outdoors in order to identify chemicals in the air that may be linked to illnesses such as asthma and cancer. The full results are expected to take up to a year from when the sample was taken. Attend this event to find out more about the study, the status and the organizations.

44 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Community Meetings – Building Relationships Breakout sessions in English and Spanish Community meal Music Scientific presentations in lay terms

45 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Community Meeting 2008

46 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI A Guide to Reading Your Results X shows the current EPA health guideline. If your bar is above the X, your results are higher than the guideline. Your results are marked by orange bars. If there is no orange bar, then the chemical was not detected in your home. Each represents one other home’s indoor air result in the study, and each O represents one other home’s outdoor air result. The column of circles shows the range of concentrations measured. If your bar is near the top, your result was higher than most; if your bar is near the bottom, your result was lower than most. You can find more information about each chemical by matching the abbreviation on the graph with the full name on the “Sources” chart.

47 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI

48 Median PBDE household dust concentrations across 6 regions in North America

49 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Linking Breast Cancer Advocacy and Environmental Justice: Research Update Atchison Village Auditorium April 5, 2008 Silent Spring Institute Communities for a Better Environment Brown University University of California at Berkeley

50 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Take Home Messages Common sources of the 155 chemicals tested  Industry (oil refining)  Cars and trucks  Consumer products (household pesticides, cleaners) Chemicals from outdoor sources - industry & traffic  Richmond higher than Bolinas (outdoor & indoor)  Outdoor levels often lead to higher indoor levels Chemicals from indoor sources - products, furniture, textiles  Fewer differences between Richmond and Bolinas  Indoor levels higher than outdoors  Outdoor air not an important source

51 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI What did we find? 155 chemicals tested More chemicals in Richmond than Bolinas 79 chemicals in Richmond outdoor air 104 chemicals in Richmond indoor air

52 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Outdoor Air: Richmond versus Bolinas Total Levels higher in Richmond Levels similar across both communities Levels higher in Bolinas Number of compounds

53 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Mostly outdoor sources Sulfates Nitrates Metals (8) Outdoor air: 31 Compounds that are higher in Richmond compared to Bolinas Outdoor & indoor sources Particulate matter Ammonia PAHs (10) Soot/Black carbon (2) Organic carbon (4) Mostly indoor sources Phthalates (2) Disinfectant (1)

54 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI How to Read This Graph This line is the median – half of the results are higher and half are lower. The box encloses the middle half of the results. 25% of the results are higher than the top of the box and 25% are lower than the bottom. The dots above this line show the highest ~5% of results. How Much? Location more less The dots below this line show the lowest ~5% of results. 54

55 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Sources: cars and trucks, industries, smoking, and cooking Richmond is higher than Bolinas Indoor levels are higher than outdoor Particulates can cause respiratory and heart problems

56 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Higher outdoor PM levels lead to higher indoor levels

57 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Sulfates Sources: oil refining, power plants and other industries Richmond higher than Bolinas Higher outdoor levels lead to higher indoor levels Higher sulfate content in PM linked to more health problems

58 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI Vanadium Sources: key marker for petroleum refining Richmond higher than Bolinas Outdoor air is the major indoor source

59 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI April 5, 2008 Community Meeting: Residents Suggest Additional Comparison Sites and Research Approaches Study Vallejo where there is a power plant and where there are similar demographics; that could lead to a useful comparison of different areas that both have major pollution sources. Why didn’t you test for mercury since I found it in my soil at 50X higher than acceptable levels? Look at chemicals that are now at or near EPA and Cal-EPA standards, and tell Richmond government that the refinery expansion would likely lead to exceedances. Use the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) to see which pollutants are predicted to rise, and then see if those are the same chemicals we are finding in our data Community could fight by arguing that expansion could violate state legislation on greenhouse gas emissions.

60 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI April 5, 2008 Community Meeting: Residents Push Action Will these data be useful to reduce exposure? Richmond authorities should take this data to Chevron and push them to act appropriately in light of what we found. Our data should be used to push the Richmond City Council to act on the community’s behalf. “They should have rushed the doors when they were kept out of the hearing” [Chevron bused in 300 workers very early, leaving residents outside hearing] Residents should write letters to the editor, including their personal experiences of living in Richmond. Push City Council candidates for election and re-election to take a strong point on the refinery, using our data as ammunition Everyone should speak at hearings, and that you don’t have to be a practiced speakers – merely getting up and telling a personal experience of living with such contamination is eloquent in its own right

61 Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI People were using their own data CBE’s Northern CA director and a community organizer presented some of the science, such as rationale for the project and sample selection Residents clearly understood that we were not scientists collecting data to help ourselves, but that we were there with them strategizing on how to organize We were not treated as distant scientists who were presenting material, but as part of a team with the local organizers. The level of democratic science-making was very high.

62 In summary… CBPR and community-engaged work:  Energizes faculty, students, academic departments  Provides excellent training  Offers wide potential for grants  Gives many outlets for top-quality publication  Provides great vehicle to integrate social, natural, and life sciences  Helps university better serve its many communities Contested Illnesses Research Group, Brown University, Providence RI

63 New research stemming from issues you’ve heard about today Interdisciplinary research between social scientists and biomedical researchers – Taps an existing topic with only a few articles, which largely show drawbacks to sociologists – My experience is far more positive, though there are some pitfalls – Learn from experience of federal programs, especially NIEHS – This will become increasingly common, so we need to learn more about it – Social scientists are critical for CBPR, ethics, research translation – Interviewing social scientists who are collaborating with biomedical scientists, with emphasis on environmental health


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