Book launch “Pain and Prejudice: What Science Can Learn about Work from the People Who Do It”

Join the award-winning and internationally recognized expert on occupational health Karen Messing for a launch of her new book Pain and Prejudice.

Please note space is limited, please RSVP for this free event to: [email protected]

In 1978, when workers at a nearby phosphate refinery learned that the ore they processed was contaminated with radioactive dust, Karen Messing, then a new professor of molecular genetics, was called in to help. Unsure of what to do with her discovery that exposure to the radiation was harming the workers and their families, Messing contacted senior colleagues but they wouldn’t help. Neither the refinery company nor the scientific community was interested in the scary results of her chromosome studies.

Over the next decades Messing encountered many more cases of workers around the world—factory workers, cleaners, checkout clerks, bank tellers, food servers, nurses, teachers—suffering and in pain without any help from the very scientists and occupational health experts whose work was supposed to make their lives easier. Arguing that rules for scientific practice can make it hard to see what really makes workers sick, in Pain and Prejudice Messing tells the story of how she went from looking at test tubes to listening to workers.

Karen Messing is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles and the book One-eyed Science: Occupational Health and Working Women. She is also the editor of Integrating Gender in Ergonomic Analysis, which has been translated into six languages.

About the space: ESPACE FRIEDLAND is a private centre dedicated to the proposition that art, science and critical thought are the greatest gifts of humanity.They flourish where curiosity has no fetters, where creativity has occasion to engage with the world and where human beings are free to express themselves. It is named for Bea and Bernard Friedland, two gifted, generous souls who never ceased to ask questions about how to make the world a more just and decent place. It is founded in their memory and in honour of their unshakeable friendship.