A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Global Empowerment


Planetary Health course helps reshape attitudes and eco-anxieties.

As the world grapples with the realities of climate change, eco-anxieties about the planet’s future weigh heavily on young people across the globe. According to a study in the Lancet Planetary Health, three-quarters of young people say these concerns affect their daily lives.

However, a new evaluation suggests that an undergraduate course in the Division of Biology and Medicine focused on planetary health is having a demonstrably positive effect on students’ eco-anxieties.

The researchers surveyed student responses at the beginning and end of “Planetary Health: Global Environmental Change and Emerging Infectious Disease,” and published their findings in Challenges. In this asynchronous online course, taught by Senior Associate Dean of Biology Education Katherine Smith, PhD, students explore how humans are changing the environment and how it might affect human health globally.

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