The proposed conference on the history of occupational and environmental health will draw participants from the United States and internationally to present research findings, share information, and promote the discipline generally. It will be the fourth in a series of such conferences over the last decade and a half, but the first in North America. The conference will be structured to include a half-day methods workshop, a series of keynote presentations linked to expert panel discussions, and presentations of original research. A series of world leaders in the field of occupational and environmental medical history have already committed to participating in the proposed meeting. Publication of the proceedings is being evaluated through a University of California humanities program in collaboration with the UC Press. NIOSH support will be critical to promote this conference and will positively reinforce the role of NIOSH in the international occupational health arena, thus leading to significant public health benefits.
The proposed international conference addresses an important, unmet educational need specific to the public health discipline of occupational safety and health. Learning from historical experience is pivotal to future public health efforts. The meeting will provide methodological training and a forum of the exchange of new research. The contents of this conference are likely to be disseminated far beyond the actual attendees through multiple channels and widespread impact. This will be the first such meeting held in the U.S.