Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs Associate Professor Shahzeen Attari will serve on an ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine that will identify emerging scientific and technological advances from a broad range of disciplines.
Those advances will be provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) to consider in its research planning to support the EPA’s mission for protecting human health and the environment. The committee is also expected to recommend to ORD how it can best capitalize on those advances to meet current and future challenges over the next couple of decades.
Attari is one of 17 members of the committee, which is expected to produce its report in May 2022.
In carrying out its study, the committee will consider EPA’s mission, strategic planning documents, and current initiatives, as well as other broader topics including, but not limited to, biotechnology, data science (along with artificial intelligence and machine learning), climate impacts, environmental monitoring and sensors (outdoor and indoor), and impacts of stressors on ecological and human health. The committee also will consider advances that help EPA better incorporate systems thinking into multimedia, interdisciplinary approaches.
Before joining the O’Neill School, Attari was a postdoctoral fellow at the Earth Institute and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University. Attari has received numerous accolades, including being a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and receiving the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and IU’s Bicentennial Medal.
Her research focuses on people’s judgments and decisions about climate change and resource use. Her key areas of expertise include behavioral science, survey design, and data analysis.
“It is an honor to serve on this committee,” she said. “I look forward to helping the team harness the value of behavioral science for protecting the environment.”
The committee held its first meetings in late March, and is expected to finalize its recommendations over the next 14 months. Its report will build on relevant past efforts, including the National Academies report “Science for Environmental Protection: The Road Ahead.”