Carolyn Raffensperger

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Carolyn Raffensperger
Carolyn Raffensperger at TEDx.png
Occupation author, lawyer, environmentalist
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Wheaton College; Northwestern University
Spouse Fred Kirschenmann

Carolyn E. Raffensperger is an environmental lawyer and the executive director of the Science & Environmental Health Network, as well as being a leading expert on the Precautionary Principle. She has authored a number of papers and publications, as well as been featured in a number of notable magazines.[1] Raffensperger was also a state field representative for the Sierra Club.[2]

Early life[edit]

Raffensperger was raised in Chicago and is the daughter of John G. Raffensperger, a paediatric surgeon.[3] After gaining an interest in archaeology while at college, she went on to study a bachelor's degree at Wheaton College, before then completing her master's degree at Northwestern University. She then worked in Dolores, Colorado, studying artifacts from the Anasazi people.[4] She went on to work for the Sierra Club.


Raffensperger joined the Science & Environmental Health Network (SEHN) in 1994 and became its executive director.[5][6] Raffensperger has written on the Precautionary Principle.[7][8][9] She has spoken in public on the issue and has appeared on TEDx[10] and EnviroVideo with Karl Grossman.[11] In 1998, Raffensperger convened and attended the Wingspread Conference on the Precautionary Principle.[12] The first use of the phrase "ecological medicine" is attributed to Raffensperger, in an article entitled "Our Planet, Our Selves" on the UTNE website.[13] Ecological medicine refers to the way in which people and the environment interact, and how an individual's acts towards the environment can have a negative effect on health.[14]


  • Raffensperger, Jackson, Tickner (1999). Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Implementing The Precautionary Principle, Island Press, 391 pages. ISBN 978-1559636889
  • Raffensperger, Tickner, Myers (1999). The Precautionary Principle in Action: A Handbook.
  • Raffensperger, Myers (2005). Precautionary Tools for Reshaping Environmental Policy. MIT Press, 400 pages. ISBN 978-0262633239


  1. ^ "Environmental Lawyer Carolyn Raffensperger Advocates for the Commons". University of Northern Iowa. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  2. ^ "Sierra Club Questions Need For 3rd Airport". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Our Planet, Our Selves". Utne. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  5. ^ "Carolyn Raffensperger and Ted Schettler" (PDF). Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  6. ^ "Our Planet, Our Selves". Utne. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  7. ^ Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Implementing The Precautionary Principle. Google Books. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  8. ^ "The Precautionary Principle in Action: A Handbook" (PDF). California Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  9. ^ "Precautionary Tools For Reshaping Environmental Policy". The MIT Press. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  10. ^ "Carolyn Raffensperger". TED. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  11. ^ "Enviro Close-Up Video Trailers". Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  12. ^ "Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle". The Global Development Research Center. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  13. ^ "Our Planet, Our Selves". UTNE. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  14. ^ "What is Ecological Medicine?". British Society for Ecological Medicine. Retrieved 2012-11-24.