EHN founder honored as environmental health champ.

EHN founder honored as environmental health champ.

Pete Myers recognized by the National Institutes of Health as one of 12 inaugural 'Champions of Environmental Health Research'.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Pete Myers, founder and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health for "significant contributions" to how our environment influences the health of communities, families and individuals worldwide.


Myers is one of 12 "Champions of Environmental Health Research," picked to commemorate 50 years of such work by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of NIH. This is the first time in its history that NIH has bestowed this award.

"It’s a complex research field that needs the attention of top scientists, and I congratulate these awardees for their outstanding contributions," said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

It’s a complex research field that needs the attention of top scientists, and I congratulate these awardees for their outstanding contributions.

– Dr. Francis Collins, NIHThe NIEHS is part of the National Institutes of Health and funds about 1,000 grants totaling more than $300 million a year. Overall the NIH invests $32 billion annually in medical research. 

In bestowing the award, NIEHS director Linda Birnbaum cited Myers' contributions to global awareness of the health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Myers' "leadership and exceptional commitment to promote scientific excellence in environmental health science," Birnbaum wrote, has helped fuel "sound public policy decisions."

Other champions include Charles Blumberg, an architect and principal player in the sustainable buildings movement; Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, an expert on the microbiome; Dr. Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician known for decades of work protecting children against environmental threats; and Jeanne Rizzo, head of the Breast Cancer Fund.

"For someone who completed a Ph.D. in behavioral ecology almost 40 years ago and began environmental health work in earnest only in 1990, it is truly humbling to be listed alongside these giants in the field," Myers said. "I've been fortunate to have many mentors and colleagues guide me, and a terrific staff at EHS who made all this work possible."

The champions will be honored during an NIEHS 50th anniversary program on Nov. 1 in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

This is the second major public service award Myers has won this year for his work on endocrine-disrupting chemicals. In April Myers shared the Endocrine Society's ;"Laureate Award for Outstanding Public Service" with Jean Pierre Bourguignon of the University of Liege, Andrea Gore of the University of Texas and Thomas Zoeller of the University of Massachusetts. The Endocrine Society is the world's largest professional association of endocrinologists, medical doctors, scientists and educators dedicated to researching and treating conditions and diseases related to the human body's complex system of glands and hormones.

Myers is an author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed research papers and the 1996 book, "Our Stolen Future," that explores the scientific basis for how contamination threatens fetal development.

He is chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, a not-for-profit organization he founded in 2002 to increase public understanding of the scientific links between environmental factors and human health. Environmental Health Sciences publishes two news websites, EHN.org and DailyClimate.org.

Myers has served as board chair of H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment; the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity; and the National Environmental Trust (now part of the Pew Charitable Trusts). He is a trustee of the Jenifer Altman Foundation.

In 2013 Myers was awarded the Frank Hatch "Sparkplug" Award for enlightened public service by the John Merck Fund. And in 2014 Myers shared, with Arlene Blum and the late Theo Colborn, the Jean and Leslie Douglas "Pearl Award," bestowed by the Cornell Douglas Foundation for work providing a sustainable planet for future generations.

Winter ticks wiped out nearly 90% of the moose calves scientists tracked in part of Maine last year

Maine is home to the largest moose population in the lower 48 states. But in one of the moosiest corners of the state, nearly 90% of the calves tracked by biologists last winter didn’t survive their first year.

Sunrise in the woods

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

Flossie Kingsbury: How taking a closer look at your family tree can help you get to grips with climate change

Understanding how our ancestors may have benefited from industrialisation and colonialism could help us become more climate-friendly citizens.

How climate change is being fought by assisted migration and foresters

Foresters responding to climate change are experimenting with planting trees in Vermont that typically are found further south. They hope the trees will survive hotter and drier conditions to come.

Carbon pollution pushed environmental breakdown to record levels in 2021

People have warped the climate so much that in 2021 four critical measures of planetary health broke records. Oceans grew hotter, higher and more acidic than ever documented, said the World Meteorological Organization.
New Mexico wildfire 2022
USFS/Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak/Facebook

Governor: Fire could destroy over 1,000 New Mexico homes

In a news conference Tuesday, Lujan Grisham acknowledged she did not have hard figures — most recent estimates had put losses of homes at 366 — but added “given the nature of this fire … I don’t think it’s an exaggeration.”

orphaned oil well grants for Louisiana
Louisiana DNR

Louisiana enacts new orphan oil well law to fetch $200 million in federal money

Legislation that positions Louisiana to receive an estimated $200 million in federal grants to fix orphan oil wells became law Tuesday.

Artists organize to offer new visions for tackling climate change

Recently, the Pew Research Center found that over 66 per cent of Canadians are not only concerned about the climate crisis, but willing to alter how they live to help fight it.

From our Newsroom
environmental justice

Op-Ed: Black gold and the color line

How historical racist redlining practices are linked to higher exposures to oil and gas wells.

Our mothers' gifts: Readers respond

Our mothers' gifts: Readers respond

We asked you to share one "big lesson" your mother gave. And you responded

Lake Mead

Dykstra: A corpse in a barrel in a drying reservoir

And other climate change tales for our age

A mother's gift

Gifts from our mothers

What one "big gift" did your mother give you? We want your story.

Bird photography

Earth Day 2022: Amidst the crises, don’t forget the beauty

Words and images from our founder, Pete Myers, on how bird photography keeps him connected to and curious about a planet in peril.

fracking pennsylvania

Public health in Pennsylvania ignored during fracking rush: Report

A new report outlines the alleged missteps in protecting Pennsylvanians from the health impacts of fracking.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.