An Un-appeal Message

Elise Miller, MEd

The other day I was talking with a young friend who is “un-schooling,” meaning she is learning through a variety of life experiences, rather than from a traditional school curriculum. The “un-school” philosophy encourages children to initiate projects, while facilitated by adults, to maximize their education.

This got me thinking what it might mean to write an “un-appeal” letter—ideally not an unappealing letter, but one that would speak from the perspective of those who experience our work and use it as a touchstone to educate others. Since learning takes place across the lifespan, it occurred to me that instead of listing all our accomplishments to underscore how worthy CHE is of your investment, I could simply share a few unsolicited notes we recently received from those who are apparently benefitting from our services—so much so they wanted us to know how CHE is enriching their professional, and even personal, lives:   

“Our Institute [the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences] is in the throes of a new strategic plan, and today one of the  subjects that arose was ‘so, what diseases and conditions have environmental components to them?’—I  immediately mentioned your database [Toxicant and Disease Database], which to my knowledge is the only one  that exists with ‘level-of-evidence’ criteria.” 
– William T. Schrader, PhD

“I’ve been a member of CHE for a few years now. I’m also a faculty member at Boston College, and teach an upper division course ‘Environmental Disruptors of Development’ that uses the primary literature in endocrine disruption as our main material. As part of the requirements for the course, students edit and significantly expand a Wikipedia page on a term related to the endocrine disruptor field.  My students have posted the complete versions of their pages on Wikipedia…I would REALLY appreciate getting input on these pages from members of the CHE community! There are many experts affiliated with CHE that could give my students some useful advice–with the added benefit of improving the information on endocrine disruptors and related areas that my class is putting into the public domain.”
– Laura Hake, PhD

“I am so very aligned with your thinking and have been trying to incorporate that perspective [see the CHE October newsletter introduction by Elise Miller, MEd, CHE Director] into the work that I have been doing for the last several years….This evolving science integration lends so much support to the general concepts of mind body medicine and ecologic medicine…I think that CHE could help to expand the universe of who thinks ‘environment’ is a part of their cause as well as offer support for our colleagues that will value our support from the environmental science world. We need to integrate across these worlds in which we work daily as well.”
– Mark Miller MD, MPH

“I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the research digest that you send me. Increasingly I find myself looking through it, studying it, and even looking forward to it. Simply it contains the studies that I need to know about. Mostly they are studies that are not coming in through Medscape and my other physician resources.  Thank you so much for your efforts.”
– Kristen Allott, ND, LAc

“I continue to find CHE postings insightful and informative. They allow me to understand implications and impacts that as a non-scientist I would otherwise not be aware of. Your management of the lists [CHE working group listservs] is exceptional and I see very clearly that the quality of material circulated is exceptional and based in facts. Thank you! There’s a lot of junk “science” out there. As much as some of the truth is hard, it is comforting to know that I have a trustworthy source of information.”
– Sharon Peralta

“The fact sheet [Baby Care Products] is GREAT! There is so much information out there that it is hard to figure out what to read and even harder to determine from what one reads what is actually important. The fact sheet is simple and concise without a lot of the hype that I’ve seen on various websites.”
– Maren Whitson

“Thank you! It’s so wonderful that you’re organizing these calls [archived CHE Partnership calls] with such important figures in the environmental community!”
– Giovanna Joyce Imbesi

“My health has improved dramatically over this past year and I do have to give CHE a big part of the credit for this. I have spent much time trying to pass along what I have learned [from CHE] in my own words to my friends, family and even my government representatives when relevant issues came up.”
– Toni Lineberry

“I love your extensive, easy to use database. When I need to do research or refer others to your site, your site is abundant in information. Knowledge is power.”
– Christina Cicack

If you feel CHE’s work has given you the knowledge you have needed to enhance your own work or life in some way, please consider sending us a note. If this “un-appeal” letter has resonated with you, please also consider making a tax-deductable gift to CHE today.

Finally, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for all of you who have taught us through your presentations on partnership calls, your insightful responses regarding emerging science, and your expertise and creativity that have shaped our priorities. I very much look forward to continuing to learn and work together in the New Year. 

Wishing you health and peace in 2012,  


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