Commissioner: Niladri Basu, PhD
“We need to communicate our scientific knowledge. This knowledge is vast and deep, it spans across the natural, social, and medical sciences, and it provides the evidence base for us to act.”
Niladri Basu, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Health Sciences and Associate Professor, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Adjunct Professor, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. (Bio below)
Why did you decide to join The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health?
Clean food, water, and air are basic human rights, yet my research that takes me across Africa to Asia to the Arctic constantly reminds me of our pollution paradox. We must band together, anchor our advocacy in the vast evidence base, and speak up.
What impact will the work of the Commission have?
The Commission will raise awareness on the consequences of global pollution and outline ways in which we can reverse course. The environment is a major cause for so much suffering and disease worldwide, yet few are aware of this. Few are also aware that pollution is preventable and that change is possible.
How can we overcome obstacles to progress in the fight against pollution? What changes do you hope to see in your lifetime?
As a university professor I am a firm believer of education, empowerment, and communication. We need to educate our population, ranging from those in our primary schools to those who occupy the highest offices in business and government. We need to empower communities, from local ones who face disproportionate toxic exposures to our global one given that none of us are exempt from a polluted planet. We need to communicate our scientific knowledge. This knowledge is vast and deep, it spans across the natural, social, and medical sciences, and it provides the evidence base for us to act. The Commission Report will help achieve all of these.
Nil Basu holds a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Environmental Health Sciences at McGill University where he is an Associate Professor (https://basulab.weebly.com). The goal of his research is to take an ecosystem approach to community, occupational, and environmental health whereby humans and wildlife are co-studied. Among his various research interests, he is highly involved in science-policy of mercury pollution, conducts field work within artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and electronic waste (E-waste) communities, and develops new toxicity and exposure testing methods that are designed to be more ethical and efficient than the status quo.
The Commission on Pollution and Health is an initiative of The Lancet, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Commissioners include many of the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of pollution management, environmental health and sustainable development.