It is with deep sadness that the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) shares that Dr. Ciro V. Sumaya passed away on Sunday December 1, 2019. Dr. Sumaya, who served on the GoMRI Research Board since the program’s inception, was a medical doctor who specialized in pediatric infectious diseases.
Trust in scientific findings is especially important when the research relates to your livelihood and health as it did for commercial and recreational fishing communities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Many scientists conducting early studies on the spill believed that they were considered trustworthy, like firemen and policemen. However, it became apparent as the spill unfolded that the relationship of the public, science, and trust was complex and sometimes on shaky ground.
Immediately following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness surveyed households in highly-affected Louisiana areas to track the event’s health and social impacts.
How can communities build resilience to adverse events such as oil spills or hurricanes? A community’s ability to buffer or counteract stressors that disasters may cause or worsen depends on its people having and using social resources and networks.
The GoMRI Research Board – a group of twenty science, public health, and research administration experts – convened a Public Health Workshop on July 30th, 2013, to discuss the most pressing needs for future public health related research.