Kirk R. Smith is among the 10 recipients that were recognized on September 15, 2009 for their environmental achievements with the 15th annual Heinz Awards by the Heinz Family Foundation. Past recipients of Heinz Awards include author Dave Eggers, medical anthropologist Paul Farmer, “environmental watchdog” Thomas FitzGerald, marine biologist Jane Lubchenco, Paul Anastas, a leader in the “green chemistry movement,” and physicist John Holdren, who is now director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.
Dr. Smith is Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, Professor of Global Environmental Health, and Director of the Global Health and Environment Program at the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. He received a PhD in biomedical and environmental health sciences from the University of California at Berkeley.
From a press release at the website of the University of California at Berkeley:
Smith, 62, was recognized for his research exposing the relationships among air pollution, household fuel use, climate and health. The foundation noted that he was the first to recognize and quantify the magnitude of the pollution exposure resulting from cooking indoors with solid fuels, such as wood and other biomass. About half of the world’s population uses such fuels daily, and the health impacts – ranging from pneumonia, tuberculosis, cataracts and chronic lung diseases – are disproportionately felt by the poorest women and children in developing countries. Smith also first recognized in poor countries the potential major co-benefits for both health and climate from improvements in household energy technologies.
On Oct. 28, 2009, each recipient of the Heinz Award will receive a $100,000 unrestricted award along with a medallion at a private ceremony in Washington, D.C.