Monday, December 21, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

New York Times "Distinguished Journalism in Public Health" for Series on Distracted Driving HONORED by HSPH

Press Releases

2009 Releases

Harvard School of Public Health Honors The New York Times for "Distinguished Journalism in Public Health," Citing Series on Distracted Driving

For immediate release: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Boston, MA -- The Harvard School of Public Health’s Center for Health Communication will honor The New York Times for “distinguished journalism in public health” at a luncheon event at the Harvard Club of New York City on Friday, December 4, 2009. The Center’s newly established journalism award cites The Times’ path-breaking series “Driven to Distraction,” which drew widespread public attention to the dangers associated with driving while texting or phoning. HSPH Dean Julio Frenk will present the award to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company and publisher of The New York Times.
The December 4 luncheon also will celebrate the “21st Birthday” (i.e., legal drinking age) of the National Designated Driver Campaign to prevent drinking and driving, which was launched by HSPH’s Center for Health Communication in late 1988.
Dean Frenk commented, “The New York Times’ in-depth series on the dangers of distracted driving has catapulted a previously neglected public health issue to a position of prominence on both public and policy agendas. Research has shown that distracted driving is like drunk driving in the danger it represents, and it is the new 21st century challenge to safety on our highways. The Times’ coverage of distracted driving constitutes a compelling example of distinguished journalism in public health.”
The Times’ reporting included the disclosure of previously suppressed research documenting serious hazards associated with the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. The Times’ “Driven to Distraction” series led to enactment of new state laws and promulgation of new federal policies, as well as greatly enhancing the public’s awareness of the problem.
The Times’ reporting team was led by Matt Richtel, a correspondent in San Francisco. It featured unique online features by Chief Producers Gabriel Dance and Tom Jackson, working with Producer Danielle Belopotosky, and photographs by Chang Lee and others, as edited by Picture Editor Merrill Oliver. The series was edited by Deputy Business Editor Adam Bryant and Assistant Managing Editor Glenn Kramon, in consultation with Business Editor Lawrence Ingrassia.
The HSPH Center for Health Communication’s innovative Designated Driver Campaign was created by Jay A. Winsten, HSPH Associate Dean and Frank Stanton Director of the Center, in 1988, and was conducted throughout the early 1990s in partnership with leading TV networks and Hollywood studios. The campaign successfully demonstrated how a new social concept—the “designated driver” —could be rapidly diffused through American society via mass communication, catalyzing a fundamental shift in social norms. The campaign broke new ground when TV writers agreed to depict the use of designated drivers in more than 160 prime-time episodes of programs such as Cheers, L.A. Law, and The Cosby Show. Public opinion polls found that a majority of Americans embraced the designated driver concept, contributing to a sharp decline in alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
Jay A. Winsten commented, “In celebrating the “21st Birthday” of the Designated Driver Campaign, we are cognizant of the unfinished work in traffic safety, including the growing problem of distracted driving which The New York Times almost single-handedly brought to the forefront. In launching the Center’s new award for distinguished journalism in public health, and presenting the inaugural award to The New York Times, we hope to encourage other news organizations to commit the necessary resources to tackle other pressing issues in public health.”
(Additional information on the Designated Driver campaign is available at
(To view the “Driven to Distraction” series on, go to
For more information:
Robin Herman

The HSPH Center for Health Communication (  is widely recognized for its pioneering contributions to the field of mass communication and public health. In addition to the Designated Driver Campaign, the Center created initiatives to curb tobacco smoking, youth violence, alcohol abuse, and domestic violence, and sponsored a mid-career journalism fellowship.  Currently, the Center is spearheading a national media campaign to recruit volunteer mentors for at-risk youth, and is planning a major initiative on global health.
Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to advancing the public's health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children's health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school visit:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Heading to a classical concert at Jordan Hall down the street near NEU

Mobile post sent by vegetarian using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

"Immoral doctrines" or "Immoral Persons" vis à vis Speciesism

Some believers in human exceptionalism base the concept in the Abrahamic religions, such as the verse in Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” " Animal rights advocates argue that dominion refers to stewardship and does not denote any right to mistreat other animals, which is consistent with the Bible. Buddhism, despite its reputation for respect for animals, explicitly accords humans a higher status in the progression of reincarnation. Animals may be reincarnated as humans, but only humans can reach enlightenment. Felipe Fernández-Armesto writes that early hunter-gatherer societies such as the Innu and many animist religions lacked a concept of humanity and placed non-human animals and plants on an equal footing with humans.

Religious and anti-religious anti-speciesists may not be able to get along socially or politically because, as a practical matter, many people may be unable to accept the values that a specific religion promotes (e.g., Islamic attitudes towards women) and will therefore not join that religion. Advocating for religious reasons that animals be accorded social and political rights may seem to require a practical secular justification either because (a) rights can only be established legally by a broad social consensus and social pluralism presents many contrasting religious and nonreligious belief patterns, and (b) arguing from a conceptual foundation that is not broadly accepted may in practice disconfirm what intuitive agreement might already exist on behalf of the personhood and moral status of animals. They may also be unable to accept the fact that those who do not affirm the rights of animals will go to hell or be damned, especially if said nonbelieving specieists are close to the person.
More recently, charges of speciesism against religions, both East and West, have posed a curiously re-discovered intellectually challenge: does one reject speciesist religions or merely the speciesist interpretations by speciesist affiliates who do not fully comprehend the breadth and depth of religious teachings? In other words, are religious teachings that describe the moral fallibility of human life more true because speciesism, a newly-recognized sin, is evident even among religious affiliates?!F1B64BFA99EC136!3682.entry