Chemicals in Our Lives: Science & Perceptions

June 3, 2011, 12:00 -1:30 PM
B-369 Rayburn House Office Building



Nearly every day in the news we learn about another possible danger in our food, our environment, our household goods or our children’s toys. The information presented by the media can seem confusing and contradictory. Policymakers face a difficult challenge to maintain the public’s trust while crafting science-based regulatory policies.


In a timely discussion for the International Year of Chemistry, the panelists will explore how the scientific community communicates information about the risks of the substances we encounter in daily life, how the public perceives these risks, the role played by the media, and implications for policy.

Honorary Co-Hosts

Opening Remarks


John R. “Jack” Fowle III Director, Health Effects Division Office of Pesticide Programs U.S. Environmental Protection Agency BioEmail

Joe Schwarcz Director, Office for Science & Society McGill University Presentation Slides BioEmail

Nancy Shute Science Writer Presentation Slides BioEmail

David Ropeik Consultant, Ropeik & Associates and Instructor, Harvard University Presentation Slides BioEmail

Related Content

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

More Related Content

  • The Chemical Institute of Canada’s Chemically Speaking
  • McGill University Office for Science and Society
  • “McNugget Chemistry” and Response, Joe Schwarcz, Chemical Institute of Canada’s Chemically Speaking
  • David Ropeik HomePage
  • Psychology Today blog: How Risky Is It Really
  • “Chemistry and Risk Perception,” David Ropeik, Chemistry World, June 2011
  • “Cancer, Choice, Beer and Fear,” David Ropeik, Psychology Today blog, April 13, 2011
  • “Improving the Use of Science in Regulatory Policy,” Bipartisan Policy Center, August 5, 2009

Image from U.S. EPA Risk Characterization
Handbook, p. 53