Visionary Science, Ethics, Law and Action in the Public Interest

About Us

About SEHN

Staff and Board
2016 Annual Report available for download here 

SEHN was founded in 1994 by a consortium of North American environmental organizations (including the Environmental Defense Fund, The Environmental Research Foundation, and OMB Watch) concerned about the misuse of science in ways that failed to protect the environment and human health. Granted 501(c)(3) status in 1999, SEHN operates as a virtual organization, currently with six staff and seven board members working from locations across the U.S.

Since 1998, SEHN has been the leading proponent in the United States of the Precautionary Principle as a new basis for environmental and public health policy. SEHN has worked with issue driven organizations, national environmental health coalitions, municipal and state governments, and several NGO/government teams to implement precautionary policies at local and state levels.

In service to communities, the Earth and future generations, the Science & Environmental Health Network forges Science, Ethics and Law into tools for Action.

The Network:

  • Translates law and science for the public and decision makers;
  • Provides the legal and scientific tools needed to protect and restore justice and ecological wholeness;
  • Serves environmental, public health and environmental justice coalitions and grassroots campaigns with legal and scientific expertise, informed by ethics;
  • Lifts up women’s voices and leadership, as well as others who are traditionally excluded from leadership and influence, to address the challenges of our time.

SEHN’s Selected Accomplishments

1) Women’s Congress for Future Generations

Nearly 500 Congress participants gathered in Minnesota in November, 2014 to delve into the question: how do we shift from a culture based on dominance and exploitation of resources, to one focused on long-term collective well-being, partnership, and a relational approach to the community of life?

Many great ideas came out of this event. To see

2014 Women's Congress Gathering in Minneapolis, MN

2014 Women’s Congress Gathering in Minneapolis, MN

the documents that were created as a result of the Women’s Congress for Future Generations, click here.


2) Major media


SEHN staff were quoted in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, TIME Magazine, WebMD, AARP Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Mother Jones, and Yes! Magazine, among many other publications

3) Public outreach


SEHN staff were featured speakers at 60 events, including TEDx Maui, Bioneers, the American Public Health Association, the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, the Environmental Ministry of Mexico, Yale University, UC Berkeley, and many other major venues.

4) Ecological Model of Health


SEHN looks beyond disease to measure the wellness of our bodies by the wellness of the places we live. Our “ecological health” model encompasses factors like nutrition, stress, and poverty to understand the medical complexity of daily life. SEHN’s analysis influenced organizations ranging from the New York Academy of Medicine to the AARP.

5) Green chemistry


SEHN is a leader in reforming how toxic chemicals are regulated in California and nationally. We are active members of statewide and national coalitions that highlight the voices of community groups, parents, health professionals, and others to call for safer chemicals in our daily lives.

6) Principles of Perpetual Care


SEHN is creating a space in the law for Future Generations and proposing new institutions such as ‘Guardians for Future Generations’. SEHN developed the Principles of Perpetual Care for the Giant goldmine in Canada which has poisoned past and present generations, in addition to threatening ten thousand generations to come. The Principles of Perpetual Care are now being adopted by other communities faced with severely contaminated sites.

7) Cumulative Impacts


The concept of regulating cumulative environmental impacts – not just a chemical-by-chemical or facility-by-facility approach – represents the future of environmental policymaking. SEHN’s groundbreaking Cumulative Impacts Work Group holds regular conference calls for practitioners and updates resources on our website. This year, SEHN also prepared and published a paper synthesizing the current state of knowledge about cumulative impacts regulation.

Do you feel called to stand for Future Generations? Do you believe the health of our bodies is intimately tied to the health of our communities, ecosystems, and our political systems? Join with SEHN and become part of our community working for lasting, systemic change. Your gift is vital to continuing this work, and we are so grateful for your support.