The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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CRF to Host Three Tay Gavin Erickson Lectures in December

The Center for Research on Families (CRF) will host three visiting scholars in December as part of the Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series. The lectures, on Dec. 5, 8 and 11, will cover such topics as reducing families’ exposure to harmful chemicals, how youth handle trouble in high-poverty high schools, and research into whether antidepressants have an iatrogenic effect when used in conjunction with cognitive therapy.

Damian Shea, professor in the department of biological sciences at North Carolina State University, will speak Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. in 160 East, Commonwealth Honors College. His presentation, “Reducing Chemical Risks to Families: Linking the External Chemical Exposure to Biological Effects and Reduction in Adverse Health Outcomes” will explore the power and limitations of high-resolution chemical analysis to measure the chemical exposome­–the totality of one’s exposure from conception onwards­–and link this to potential biological effects with high-throughput cell-based toxicity assays. Examples will be drawn largely from his work in China, where he is studying how differential chemical exposure and risk relates to different family members and their roles and activities within the family and the cultural and financial barriers to reducing chemical exposure and potential adverse health outcomes.

Calvin Morrill, professor in the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, will speak on “Navigating Conflict: How Youth Handle Trouble in a High-Poverty High School" on Friday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. in 160 East, Commonwealth Honors College. The talk will focus on the social ingenuity with which teens informally and peacefully navigate strife-ridden peer trouble. Based on 16 years of ethnographic fieldwork in a multi-ethnic and multiracial, high-poverty school in the American southwest, the research complicates our vision of urban youth, along the way revealing the resilience of students in the face of the carceral disciplinary tactics.

Steven Hollon, professor in the department of psychological sciences at Vanderbilt University, will deliver the lecture “Is Cognitive Therapy Enduring or are Antidepressants Iatrogenic?” on Monday, Dec. 11 at noon in 160 West, Commonwealth Honors College. The talk explores the possibility that cognitive therapy in combination with medication does little to prevent recurrence of depression and may, in fact, prolong depressive episodes.

All lectures are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

CRF is an endowed interdisciplinary research center in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and College of Natural Sciences. The Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series brings internationally recognized speakers with expertise in family research to campus each year. The lecture series began in 1999 through an endowment established in memory of Tay Gavin Erickson.