Healthy People, Healthy Planet

ComArtSci is home to some of the cutting-edge labs in health, environmental and science communication, including the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and Health and Risk Communication Center.

Traditionally, health, risk, environmental and science communication are specialized areas of study with their own academic communities and journals. At ComArtSci, we have intentionally created an umbrella area of Healthy People, Healthy Planet (HP2) to foster more synergistic, interdisciplinary research efforts.

We have sustained a successful track record of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) grants in health and environmental communication. Now it is time to take on grand challenges. The latest Netflix documentary on Bill Gates should serve as inspiration.

Having a concentration of some of the world’s best researchers under one roof gives us some great advantages to be catalysts in HP2. Also, our researchers bring expertise from different levels of analysis. From neurons to nations, we have faculty and graduate students who are actively involved in using communication as an agent of positive social change.

Our research extends beyond our state and region to the farthest places on this planet. I am very proud of the work our faculty undertake in Africa. Here they use design thinking and neuroscience to develop interventions for Type 2 diabetes and learning disabilities from the trauma of war.

The land grant mission is to engage actively in translational work, which involves bringing winning ideas quickly from the lab to our communities. With more concerted and collaborative efforts among our faculty and with the help of our extension arm of the university, which touches every county in the state, we have the potential to realize our aspirations to be agents of change. The stories presented in our September newsletter are only a thin sample of the depth and breadth of work in health and environmental communication in our college. Nevertheless, HP2 is and will remain a bulwark of translational research in our college.