Plymouth State University Sidore Lecture with Dr. Celia Chen

Dr. Celia Chen will be the speaker in the Sidore Lecture Series on April 17, 2018 at 7 p.m. in Smith Recital Hall of the Silver Center for the Arts on the Plymouth State University campus.


Chen is a Research Professor of Biology at Dartmouth College and a lead scientist in the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program. Over the last 23 years, her research has focused on the bioaccumulation and fate of metals and mercury, in particular, in aquatic ecosystems including lakes and ponds, reservoirs, streams and rivers, and estuaries. In addition to her research program on mercury, she is also the Project Leader of the Research Translation Core (RTC) of the Dartmouth Superfund Research Program(SRP), which is tasked with communicating and facilitating the application of the research findings of the Dartmouth SRP to policy makers, other stakeholder groups and the public. In this role, she has led and participated in numerous panels and workshops to bring science to inform policy. This has included leading efforts to synthesize and summarize mercury science for the negotiation and implementation of the Minamata Convention, the international treaty on mercury. She has also served on US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board Panels on mercury and nutrient loading. Chen has also received research grants from numerous federal agencies including the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


The theme for this year’s Sidore Lecture Series is Checks and Balances, systems that are in place or needed in order to protect and serve the general public in countering forces not in the public’s best interest. Chen’s concurrent efforts in obtaining the data on mercury in the environment are necessary for setting and advocating for such policy at national and international scales, giving her an especially appropriate lens to talk about the interface between science and policy. The work of Chen and her collaborators has resulted in many publications in scientific journals and reports for policy-makers, which informed the development of regional, national
and international policy on the management of mercury pollution. In addition, Chen has devoted a great amount of professional attention to public outreach, heightening general awareness of the issues of bioaccumulation, especially regarding mercury in aquatic systems in the Northeastern US. She will use mercury as a high-profile example of how science informs policy, but also compels scientists to engage in the public forum that leads to protection of human health and the environment.

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