Movies like Oppenheimer remind us of the link between environmental contaminants and illness. Nuclear waste from the Manhattan project was disposed across St. Louis and disease clusters have popped up in the metro area in the 70 years since. A disease cluster is an unusual aggregation of health events, real or perceived, that are grouped together in time and space and that are reported to a health agency.
Dr. Laura Hart is an associate professor and program coordinator in the department of sociology, anthropology and gerontology at Missouri State University. She has focused her research on health inequality, race/class/gender and environmental justice. She recently published a book, “Risk and Adaptation in a Cancer Cluster Town,” where she examines the effects of a disease cluster in the small town of Clyde, Ohio.
Hart discusses the role of emotion and its relationship to community experiences of social belonging and inequality.