The International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) has awarded its Research Integrity Award 2019 to Kurt Straif, associated researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). The honour is bestowed occasionally upon professionals that have demonstrated “ exceptional integrity in the face of pressure from special interests ”.
Straif received this award for his work in the identification and classification of carcinogens at the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). As head of the IARC Monographs Programme, he led the evaluation of the carcinogenic hazards posed by substances such as tobacco smoking (and passive tobacco), pesticides, shiftwork,air pollution, red and processed meat, or radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones, among others. The award ceremony took place on August 28, during the Annual ISEE Congress in Utrecht.
“Kurt Straif has been exemplary in a job that is frequently controversial and attracts pressure from powerful sectors. His ethics and integrity in these situations, together with his tireless professional contributions, have earned him the community’s respect,” says ISGlobal researcher Manolis Kogevinas, who was part of those that promoted Straif’s nomination.
The awardee has a longstanding research career in environmental and occupational risks for cancer, and in teaching. As a medical doctor, he specialized in public health and epidemiology, and developed his scientific career in institutions such as the universities of Giessen and Münster in Germany, and Los Angeles, California (USA), before joining the IARC in 2001. Straif, recently had to retire from IARC, has now joined ISGlobal as an associated researcher.