Lecture spotlight: Nuclear test aftermath; clinical dismissal; border family separations

Everyday Radioactive Life in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan,” a live interview with Magdalena Stawkowski, assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of South Carolina
4-5:30 p.m. Oct. 10, 4130 Posvar Hall

From 1949 to 1989, the Soviet Union conducted 456 nuclear tests at Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan. Despite decades of nuclear fallout, Kazakh rural communities inhabit the area around the site. How has living around a nuclear test site shaped those communities and their post-Soviet experience? This live interview with Magdalena Stawkowski will discuss her ethnographic work and the ways the Semipalatinsk test site still shapes economy, environment and subjectivities. 

“Neither Seen Nor Heard: The Culture and Consequence of Clinical Dismissal,” by Sarah Manguso, author of “The Two Kinds of Decay” and “Ongoingness: The End of a Diary,” and five other books
5:15-6:45 p.m. Oct. 10, A115 Public Health

How does the medical establishment make it difficult for chronically ill patients to gain treatment for persistent but non-emergent symptoms? Practitioners’ patterns include dismissal of physical symptoms as psychiatric in origin; attribution of disease symptoms to normative gender differences; and the framing of illness as the patient’s fault, thanks to poor attitude or inadequate self-care. Sarah Manguso draws on her decades of experience as a patient and a writer on medical conditions, challenging health care practitioners to recognize habits of dismissal and approach treatment with greater sensitivity. Co-sponsored by the Department of English, Schools of Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, and Public Health.

Panel discussion: “Family separations: short and long-term effect on children”
2-4 p.m. Oct. 11, A115 Public Health

Family separations have been a crisis at the U.S. Southern Border. These separations are an adverse childhood event, one that most likely will produce trauma with lifelong consequences. Hear experts and those working in the community to share their perspectives, engage in discussion, and answer questions. Panelists: Todd Bear, assistant professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences; Daniela Garcia, licensed social worker working as a bilingual therapist in Pittsburgh; Claudia Melendez Ardiles, behavioral therapist for Children's Community Pediatrics, and Robin Meja, Statistics and Human Rights Program Manager at Carnegie Mellon University. Presented in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) and presented by the Center for Health Equity.  Free

Ted Kennedy Jr. on “The Future of Disability Rights,” the Thornburgh Family Lecture on Disability Law & Policy
1-2 p.m. Oct. 15, William Pitt Union, Lower Lounge

Ted Kennedy Jr., chair of the board of the American Association of People with Disabilites, is a pediatric bone cancer survivor and amputee who is an esteemed leader in the movement to expand opportunities for persons with disabilities.  To learn more about Kennedy and register to attend, go to the Thornburgh Forum website.

“Celebrities, Science, and Pseudoscience: Tackling Misinformation in the Era of Health Noise” by Timothy Caulfield, University of Alberta
12:30-1:30 p.m. Oct. 17, G24 Cathedral of Learning

Popular culture is filled with health myths, pseudoscientific noise and dangerous conspiracy theories. This is having a measurable impact on public health and critical thinking. In this provocative presentation, Caulfield — chair in Health Law and Policy and research director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta — will debunk some of the most pernicious falsehoods and explore the cultural forces driving the rise and spread of health misinformation. Caulfield also will consider what the available evidence says about how to cut through this noise and promote science-informed advice. No pre-registration is required and all are welcome to attend. For more information or to submit advance questions, email askirb@pitt.edu.