Slideshow: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dan Fagin speaks at Wagner College

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Dan Fagin, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for his book, “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation” (Bantam, 2013), delivered the Kaufman-Repage Lecture at Wagner College’s 2014 Founders Day Convocation on Wednesday, Oct. 8. This is the slideshow that accompanied Fagin's lecture (http://youtu.be/rPIiC2iBmTI).

Text of Slideshow: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dan Fagin speaks at Wagner College

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2. CCaattaassttrroopphhee [[kkuuhh--ttaass--ttrruuhh--ffeeee]]:: 11.. AA hheeaalltthheeffffeecctt ssoo llaarrggee eevveenn aanneeppiiddeemmiioollooggiiccaall ssttuuddyyccaann ddeetteecctt iitt..---- DD.. OOzzoonnooffff 3. TToommss RRiivveerr99 4. PPaarraacceellssuussTToommss RRiivveerr1133Ramazzini 5. 1144 6. 1155John Snow William Farr 7. PPeerrkkiinn1166HueperYamagiwa 8. TToommss RRiivveerr1177Doll 9. Toms River had a moderately elevated SIR for all cancerscombined (49% higher) and leukemia (80% higher).However, neither of these SIRs were statistically significant.Brain and CNS cancer was more than three times higherthan expected for children under 20. For Toms Riverchildren under five, brain and CNS cancer incidence wassignificantly elevated, over seven times higher thanexpected. All SIRs calculated for Dover Township werehigher than expected. Brain and CNS cancer in childrenunder five was more than two and one-half times higherthan expected, though not statistically significantBecause of the small number of cases included in thisanalysis, it is not possible to conduct studies to determinepossible causes at the municipality or even county level.-- Michael Barry, NJ State Dept. of Health8/31/95 unreleased letter 10. Children prenatally exposed to Parkway Water 1982-96,diagnosed with leukemia or CNS Cancers before age 20:GGiirrllss pprreennaattaallllyy eexxppoosseedd ttoo PPaarrkkwwaayy WWaatteerr 11998844--9966,,ddiiaaggnnoosseedd wwiitthh lleeuukkeemmiiaa oonnllyy bbeeffoorree aaggee 2200:: 11. Girls prenatally exposed to PPaarrkkwwaayy WWaatteerr 11998844--9966,,ddiiaaggnnoosseedd wwiitthh lleeuukkeemmiiaa bbeeffoorree aaggee 55::Girls prenatally exposed to Parkway Water 1984-96, diagnosedwith leukemia before age 5 (birth records study): 12. Although no associations were detected in analyses of theoverall study population, a statistically significantassociation and consistency in multiple measures ofassociation were seen between prenatal exposure to time-specificParkway well field water (1982-1996) and leukemiain female children of all ages.Although no associations were detected in analyses of theoverall study population, a consistent elevation in the oddsratios and an apparent dose response effect was seen inboth the Interview and Birth Records Studies betweenprenatal exposure to Ciba-Geigy ambient air and leukemiain female children diagnosed prior to age five. 13. TToommss RRiivveerr 2277 14. What Now? Make peace with uncertainty in public health; epidemiology works. Capitalize on Big Data: $80 billion vs. $8 billion. Robust oversight, adequately funded. No more hollow agencies. Much more independent science, especially in regulatory decision-making. No more empty slogans and reflexive combat. Engage with evidence,acknowledge uncertainty (again!), recognize tradeoffs. Important information cannot be contained in a digital world. As reach, influence of professional media declines, burden is on stakeholdersto provide context and be transparent about agendas. Shirk it at your peril.