Samuel Myers, MD – Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves
Samuel Myers, a leading figure in the study of the impacts on human health of the accelerating disruptions to Earth’s natural systems, shares the guiding principles and implications of this newly emergent, rapidly growing field, recently dubbed “Planetary Health.” Every dimension of human health and wellbeing is under threat from our ongoing degradation of Earth’s life-support systems. Planetary Health research is providing rigorous evidence that urgently stabilizing our planet’s natural systems is essential if we are going to have any chance of safeguarding a livable future for humanity. Dr. Myers explains the goals and work of the broad global coalitions around The Planetary Health Alliance (of which he is the founding director) coming together to drive home the inextricable links between human and environmental health and to develop policies and actions to protect our biosphere.
This talk was delivered at the 2022 Bioneers Conference.
Samuel Myers, MD, MPH, studies the human health impacts of accelerating disruptions to Earth’s natural systems, a field recently dubbed “Planetary Health.” A Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, he is the founding Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, the author of roughly 100 peer-reviewed research articles, and the lead editor of Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves (Island Press, 2020).
Read an excerpt from Ecological Medicine, Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves (2004, Sierra Club Books), a collection of writings from the world’s leading health visionaries, showing how human health is inescapably dependent on the health of our environment.
Whether we call it “Ecological” or “Planetary” or “Holistic” medicine, or “One Health,” the effort to expand our understanding of health and to bring into being a new form of far more effective and equitable healthcare is more critical than ever. In this collection of Bioneers media, we feature some of the leading lights of this movement, both early visionaries and contemporary luminaries, approaching this imperative from a wide range of perspectives.