Science and the end of poverty

Presenters: John Mutter, Deputy Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Vijay Modi, professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University
Marc Levy, Associate Director, Center for International Earth Science
Information Network

Track: International Challenges
Date: Friday, February 17, 2006
Time: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

For many on the planet, life is bleak. More than one billion people live in extreme poverty, forced to survive on less than a dollar a day. These people and many others lack the fundamental attributes of a normal, dignified life: adequate housing, sanitation, health care, education and employment. They are chronically hungry and frequently sick. Natural disasters claim the lives of the poorest in the greatest numbers, with women and children often suffering the most.

In this symposium, a group of researchers from The Earth Institute at Columbia University, together with colleagues from the University of California Davis and the University of New Hampshire, will examine a range of ways that science can help understand and alleviate the most chronic human suffering.

Human Well-Being and Earth's Natural Extremes
John Mutter, Deputy Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Whether the agent is earthquake, flood, drought, landslide or other natural catastrophe it is now well recognized that the poorest communities suffer most at the hands of nature. Recent global tragedies serve to underscore that similar events cause vastly different outcomes depending on where they occur. So, for instance, the magnitude 7.6 October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan took the lives of more than 30,000 people, but the Northridge earthquake in California, which was similar in magnitude, took less than one hundred lives. This sort of impact disparity is well reported anecdotally and in newspaper reports, as well as quant

Contact: Ken Kostel
The Earth Institute at Columbia University

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