Montana State University

Café Scientifique to be held in Billings, focus on social inequalities in health

August 26, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -"Social Inequalities in Health: Enduring 21st Century Crises" is the subject of the upcoming Café Scientifique to be held Thursday, Sept. 22, in Billings.

David R. Williams from Harvard University will provide an overview of research on social justice and health during the Café Scientifique to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Billings Depot, 2310 Montana Avenue.

Williams will discuss the persistence of socioeconomic status and racial ethnic disparities as related to health. He will address the impacts of those disparities on the relatively poor ranking of health in the U.S. compared to other societies, and the economic costs for American society. He will address recent research that documents the persistence of racism in U.S. society and the multiple ways in which racism has adverse consequences for health. He will discuss the social environment as a central determinant of health and interventions that can improve health and reduce inequities.

Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and professor of African and African American Studies and of sociology at Harvard University. Currently, he directs the Lung Cancer Disparities Center at HSPH, one of 10 Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institutes of Health. Previously, he was a faculty member at Yale University and the University of Michigan.

Williams has been involved in developing health policy at the national level. He is a leader in raising awareness about health disparities and identifying ways to address them.

Café Scientifique, co-sponsored by Montana's INBRE and COBRE programs at Montana State University, provides a relaxed setting for people to learn about current scientific topics. The concept started in England in 1998 and has spread to a handful of locations in the United States. Following a short presentation by a scientific expert, the majority of time is reserved for questions, answers and lively discussion.

For more information, contact Laurie Howell at (406) 994-7531 or or go to For more information about the Café Scientifique concept, check the Web at

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or