Online Program

Art and science combined to explore the nuclear age at hanford

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Steven Gilbert, PhD, DABT, Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders, Seattle, WA
Daniel Noonan, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Seattle, WA
Nancy Dickeman, Leaf and Dove, Seattle, WA
Dianne Dickeman, Leaf and Dove, Seattle, WA
Increasingly the challenge is not generating new information but organizing and presenting the knowledge we have to enable people to gain insight into complex issues such as the legacy of plutonium production at Hanford. To engage people's hearts and minds we developed a web based curriculum (, website (, and traveling exhibit, Particles on the Wall (POTW – During the course students examine Hanford's history, its many stakeholders, and the science behind the dangers of radiation. Traditional readings and assignments are augmented with poetry, art and first hand interviews with people involved in the issue. As a final project, students are assigned to create a work of visual, literary, scientific, or another nontraditional method of responding to information they have learned. Students then display, perform, or show their piece to members of their community. This artwork is used as not only an educational tool but a starting point for discussion of the topic. The goals of this project are for students to take the information they learned and share it beyond the classroom. This method is especially useful when learning about controversial or complicated subjects. By using art the students are able to approach these topics in a manner that does not take sides politically or intimidate people unfamiliar with the subject. It also promotes students who are science minded to rethink information in ways that the general public would understand. Conversely, it promotes students who are more comfortable with the arts to draw inspiration from science.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the advantages of uniting the arts and sciences in exploring a complex topic. Design a similar program for another topic of significant societal impact.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Radiation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT is Director and Founder of the Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders (INND), a non-profit institute dedicated to research and education in the field of toxicology. Dr. Gilbert consults and lectures widely on issues related to toxicology, drug development and bioethics. He is the author of A Small Dose of Toxicology The Health Effects of Common Chemicals 3rd edition which explores the principles of toxicology.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders (INND Toxicology Director and Founder of INND

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.