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Dean's Message from Megan L. Ranney - Spring 2024

Yale Public Health Magazine, Focus: Spring 2024


Using science and action to create a healthier world

Here at the Yale School of Public Health, we’re committed to creating systems solutions to the world’s most pressing health problems. From innovations in cancer diagnosis, to work on humanitarian crises across the globe, to a new research leadership program in India, to collaboration with New Haven community groups to reduce health disparities, we are using science to create a healthier world.

But an enormous challenge looms: Climate change, perhaps the greatest public health threat of this century.

Exactly because climate change represents an existential challenge to human health, it also presents our greatest opportunity. As Robert Dubrow, professor of epidemiology (environmental health sciences) writes on the following pages, “When we tackle climate change, we simultaneously address some of the other major public health challenges of our time.” And here at YSPH, we are doing the work to create change – within and outside of Yale.

This year’s Focus magazine by the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) is therefore presented as a Climate Change Handbook, a compendium of some of the most impactful and rigorous climate change science and action being done by YSPH experts. It contains essays written by YSPH faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Finally, it highlights some of the interdisciplinary work we’re undertaking with leaders across campus, including the newly appointed Vice Provost for Planetary Solutions, Julie Zimmerman, PhD.

Read on to learn how rising temperatures affect population health; why polluted air may impair brain function; how our favorite snacks may be worsening our planet’s health; and more. And then enjoy the stories with solutions – some of which you may be able to implement, or advocate for, in your own community.

This YSPH Climate Change Handbook is designed so that you can download it onto your cellphone and refer to it often. We hope the essays will not only inform you, but also inspire you. For this reason, we’ve included an Action Item for Change with each essay, and an interactive page where you can create your own action plan. As Sarah Lowe, associate professor of public health (social and behavioral sciences) reminds us in her essay, collective action eases climate anxiety – and makes a difference.

Enjoy this handbook! And let us know what you think, or what new goals you’re making.

I look forward to your using science and action to create a healthier world, together.

Dr. Megan L. Ranney, MD
Dean, Yale School of Public Health
C.-E. A. Winslow Professor of Public Health

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