Contested Illnesses Research Group

The Contested Illnesses Research Group (CIRG) was established in 1999, based on grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Science Foundation. At present, CIRG has funded projects through the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

CIRG and the SSEHRI Research Group are sister teams that frequently meet together and collaborate on many projects.

This multidisciplinary project began initially to study disputes over environmental causes of asthma, breast cancer, and Gulf War Illnesses. Over time, the scope of our inquiry has expanded to examine the formation and impact of health social movements more generally.

Our interdisciplinary research team integrates the perspectives of medical and environmental sociologists as well as scholars from environmental public health and science studies.

In our partnership with Silent Spring Institute, we have also expanded our work to include biomonitoring and household exposure studies, especially of endocrine disrupters. Our collaboration has pioneered democratic and informative approaches to reporting health data to participants, and in teaching other researchers how to do this.

In our work directing the Community Engagement Core of Brown University’s Superfund Research Program, we are involved in a variety of community-based participatory research and community-engaged service and advocacy with numerous environmental health and justice groups. Our formal partners are the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island, the Environmental Neighborhood Awareness Committee of Tiverton, and the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, and we work with additional groups as well. We also partner with Rhode Island’s Department of Health and Department of Environmental Management.

Faculty and students who participate in the Contested Illnesses Research Group are also involved in a variety of other research collaborations both within Brown and beyond. To read more about these projects, please explore the information and links on the pages for “Research Projects” and for each member’s biosketch.

Please visit us at http://brown.edu/Research/Contested_Illnesses_Research_Project/

  • Contact

    Environmental Health
    Phil Brown
    318 International Village
    Boston, MA 02115
    p.brown@neu.edu
    617-373-7407