In a recent interview with Scientific American, Robert D. Bullard reflected on the movement he helped to create. Dr. Bullard was the first scientist to publish systematic research on the links between race and exposure to pollution, which he documented for a 1979 lawsuit. “This is before everyone had [geographic information system] mapping, before iPads, iPhones, laptops, Google,” he says. “This is doing research way back with a hammer and a chisel.” In 2021 Texas Southern University in Houston established the Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice, where Bullard now serves as executive director. He has written 18 books on the topic, and his work helped to launch a movement. Environmental justice—the idea that everyone has the right to a clean and healthy environment, no matter their race or class—has been embraced by advocates around the world and is influencing international climate negotiations.
Scientific American asked Bullard about his work and its impact in the U.S. and beyond. You can read the full interview here.