Fires, Fuel and the Fate of 3 Billion: 2017 Stein Lecture on March 31

The 2017 Herman D. Stein Lecture in International Social Welfare on Friday, March 31, will be given by alumnus Gautam N. Yadama, MSSA 1985, PhD 1990, Dean of Boston College School of Social Work. The lecture’s title is "Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion: Transdisciplinary and Translational Science to Address Complex Problems of the Poor."

The Stein Lecture is at 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 31, at the Mandel Community Studies Center Room 108, and it will also be livestreamed. Lunch will be provided to in-person attendees. The event is open to all and free to attend, although there is a charge for CEUs (1.5 social work CEUs: $10 for CWRU alumni; $25 for non-alumni; CEUs not available for livestream attendees). Students receive 1.5 PD hours. Parking recommendations: CWRU garages on Ford Road or E. 115; CWRU Lot 84 on Bellflower Road; Botanical Garden Garage; or available street parking.

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Stein Lecture Student Colloquium

Dr. Yadama will also a presenting a student colloquium, “Intervening in Complex Systems: The Case for Transdisciplinary Research,” on Thursday, March 30, at 5:30 p.m., at Mandel Center Room 108 that offers dinner and 1 PD hour. FREE.

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About Gautam N. Yadama, MSSA 1985, PhD 1990

A member of the Mandel School Hall of Achievement and recipient of a 2016 Centennial Alumni Award, Dr. Yadama was appointed Dean of the Boston College School of Social Work in 2016. He is an internationally respected researcher whose interdisciplinary work has focused on understanding the social and environmental challenges of the rural poor in South Asia and China, and he has conducted extensive community-based research throughout India, China and Nepal.

His research examines the overarching questions of how communities successfully self-govern and collectively provide essential public goods and common-pool resources vital for their livelihoods; how government and non-governmental organizations engage and collaborate with these communities; and how social and ecological interactions influence the sustained implementation of household and community interventions to overcome social dilemmas and improve wellbeing.

A gifted scholar and teacher noted for curricular innovation, he has won Distinguished Faculty Awards from both Washington University and the Brown School of Social Work. Fluent in English, Telugu and Hindi, Yadama has also served as director of international programs at the Brown School of Social Work and as a visiting professor in India, Azerbaijan, Mongolia and the Republic of Georgia.

He is currently conducting a randomized control trial to study the sustainability of new and efficient energy technologies in rural India to improve health and well being of women and children. It is a transdisciplinary study involving aerosol, pulmonary, and system sciences to improve household air pollution, health and environmental outcomes for the poor.

Prior to joining Boston College, Dr. Yadama was Professor and Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis. He has collaborated with George Soros’ Open Society Foundation in training several cohorts (1999-2014) of young social policy and social development professionals from Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Georgia. Dr. Yadama is a commissioner on The Commission on Pollution and Health, an initiative of The Lancet, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The commission’s report – The Lancet Commission on Pollution & Health – is forthcoming in April 2017.

About Fires, Fuel and the Fate of 3 Billion

Dr. Yadama co-authored Fires, Fuel and the Fate of 3 Billion: The State of the Energy Impoverished, published by the Oxford University Press in 2013. Inside small homes and huts throughout the developing world, billions of people burn fires in rudimentary stoves to prepare their meals and heat their homes. Besides providing heat, these stoves also release large amounts of dense black soot, which has a staggeringly negative impact on the health, ecosystems, and advancement of the poor in the developing world.

Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion examines the complex nexus of issues at play in the developing world’s use of crude cookstoves — factors such as poverty, energy, environment, and gender inequality. Melding succinct prose, scientific synthesis, and unforgettable images of communities in rural India, this multidisciplinary work aims to prompt new awareness of a wicked problem: how families can depend on, and be plagued by, crude cookstoves.

What is clear in this visual and scientific treatise is the fact this is not simply a problem of rudimentary stoves; it is a symptom of energy insecurity. The images, narratives, and illustrated scientific data make this book an urgent call to better understand and address energy poverty and household air pollution around the globe.

About the Stein Lecture

Dean of the Mandel School from 1964-1968, Dr. Herman Stein is widely considered a visionary who expanded the scope of the social work profession to encompass a worldwide perspective on social welfare problems. Held every other year, the Herman D. Stein Lecture in International Social Welfare is designed to bring an outstanding thinker or international advocate to the Mandel School to stimulate lively discussion and inspire all to consider issues of community, compassion and democracy around the globe. The Stein Lecture is moderated by M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad, PhD, Distinguished University Professor and the Ralph S. and Dorothy P. Schmitt Professor, who has also been lauded for his significant contributions to social work education internationally.

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