Barbara Rose Johnston, Ph.D.
The 2016 Michael Kearney Lecture principle speaker is Barbara Rose Johnston, senior research fellow at the Center for Political Ecology.
An environmental anthropologist, her action-research explores environmental crisis and human rights abuse with the goal of securing acknowledgment of harm and implementation of the right to a healthy environment, environmental equity, and the right to reparation and remedy. Her work is done in collaboration with affected communities and their advocates with investigative, peer review, and advocacy support from colleagues and professional organizations.
An award-winning author, she has published definitive works that shape the interdisciplinary field of political ecology and demonstrate the power of a science and human rights approach in action-research. As an advisor to the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal, she conducted research on the biomedical, social, cultural, and environmental impacts of the United States nuclear weapons testing program and the history and consequences of a classified human radiation experimentation program, served with Holly Barker as an expert witness in Nuclear Claims Tribunal proceedings, and provided documents, briefings and other contributions to a 2012 United Nations Special Rapporteur investigation on continuing environmental contamination and related human rights abuse.
As a member of the UNESCO expert panel on water and cultural diversity (2008-11), she contributed to international conferences and public policy processes, and served as editor-in-chief for the interdisciplinary textbook on Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change, produced through a partnership between UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, United Nations University Traditional Knowledge Initiative and the Center for Political Ecology. Her work on reparation and the right to remedy for Chixoy dam-affected communities in Guatemala continues to influence national and international public policy.