Now online: Presentations from the December 2011 Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia of the National Academy of Sciences

Entitled Biological Embedding of Early Social Adversity: From Fruit Flies to Kindergarters, the Sackler Colloquia focused on socioeconomic position as the single most powerful determinant of health and development within every human society on earth. Rapidly accumulating evidence suggests that differential exposure to early childhood adversities contributes strongly to the observed social disparities in mental and physical health, cognitive and socioemotional development, and lifetime educational and economic attainment. Studies in a broad array of species, ranging from invertebrates to human and nonhuman primates, are elucidating fundamental mechanisms by which social stratification is induced and maintained and by which socially partitioned adversities are transduced into neurobiological and genomic processes. Using new developmental neurogenomic approaches, science is poised to finally understand why disease, disorder and developmental misfortune are so unevenly distributed within human populations. This colloquium convened a world class, cross disciplinary assembly of basic, biomedical, and social scientists to explore the biological embedding of early social adversity across multiple species, from fruit flies to human kindergartners.

Speakers included Clyde Hertzman, Tom Boyce, Janet Werker, Michael Kobor and many others. See HELP researcher presentation below and visit the Sackler Colloquia's YouTube Channel to view the other presentations.

The Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia of the National Academy of Sciences address scientific topics of broad and current interest, cutting across the boundaries of traditional disciplines. Each year, several colloquia are scheduled, typically two days in length and international in scope. Each colloquium is organized by a member of the Academy, often with the assistance of an organizing committee, and feature presentations by leading scientists in the field and discussions with a hundred or more researchers with an interest in the topic. These colloquia are made possible by a generous gift from Jill Sackler, in memory of her husband, Arthur M. Sackler.