Yale Explores… Planetary Health: Safeguarding Human Health and the Natural Systems on Which It Depends

October 3, 2018
National Constitution Center
Philadelphia, PA

Yale Explores made its first stop of the 2018–2019 academic year on October 3 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Nearly 200 members of the Yale community gathered for the event, which included two receptions bookending a panel discussion among noted Yale faculty. Attendees were surrounded by images of Yale’s campus being played on video boards throughout the reception space, which included a photo booth featuring a variety of campus backdrops.

Following the initial reception, the intellectual program took center stage. Welcome remarks from Yale Club of Philadelphia President Mark Curchack ’69 served as prelude to the evening’s highlight: a panel discussion of the new field of planetary health moderated by Margaret Warner ’71 and featuring professors Daniel Esty ’86 J.D., Ann Kurth ’90 M.S.N., and Paul Turner.

The discussion was wide ranging, moving from the current state of the earth and the effects of climate change, both immediate and far-reaching, to energy conservation, global water and food consumption, and the struggle to create the same sense of urgency around climate change that currently exists in public health. There was one prevailing theme in the discussion: These are big, broad problems that cannot be solved by a single area of study. As Warner noted, “Human health cannot be separated from the planet’s health.”

President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D. followed the panel discussion with a talk framing the event’s themes through the prism of his field of study, social psychology. He reinforced the power of cross-disciplinary collaboration and cited the night’s panelists as one of many illustrations that Yale is well-positioned to undertake such work.


Margaret Warner ’71
Senior Fellow, Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
Former Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, PBS NewsHour


Daniel Esty ’86 J.D.
Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy

Ann Kurth ’90 MSN
Dean and Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing

Paul Turner
Acting Dean of Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Closing Remarks

Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D.
President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology

Enjoy photos from the event

  • Panelist, Dan Esty (right), conversing with guests during the post-reception.
  • Guests enjoying the reception in the Grand Hall Main Lobby.
  • Panelist, Ann Kurth (right), conversing with guests during the post-reception.
  • Panelist, Paul Turner (left), with guests during the post-reception.
  • President Peter Salovey addressing the audience.
  • Guests enjoying the presentation in the Grand Hall Overlook of the National Constitution Center.
  • Yale Club of Philadelphia President Mark Curchack welcomes guests.
  • Yale Explores Philadelphia presenters (left to right) Mark Curchack, Paul Turner, Ann Kurth, Peter Salovey, Margaret Warner, and Dan Esty.
  • Guests networking at the reception at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
  • Guests posing for a photo in Signers Hall.