About the Shaw Institute

Improving human and ecological health through innovative science and global partnerships

The Shaw Institute is a nonprofit scientific research organization founded in 1990 by environmental health scientist Dr. Susan Shaw. Over three decades, our research on plastics, ocean pollution, flame retardants, and climate change has informed public opinion and fueled policy, impacting millions of people in the U.S. and worldwide.

World on Fire

As wildfires rage from Maine to Arizona and droughts and violent storms become the new norm, Dr. Shaw weighs in on the ecological impacts of a world on fire for the Arizona Daily Star. “The solution to this is to confront climate change in a more aggressive way. Wildfires are just a symptom of that.”
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COVID-19 and the Environment

Could the COVID 19 catastrophe help us meet the ultimate scientific challenge of the 21 st century? When the pandemic forced industries into lockdown, the global environment dramatically improved, giving us a glimpse of what a better, more sustainable world could be. Professor Jackson looks at a once-in-a- generation opportunity to grow back our economies without imperiling the planet. The question is, do we have the vision and capacity to achieve this?

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Dr. Shaw at the 2019 Plastic Health Summit: The Hidden Danger of Plastic in a World on Fire

Called the "most powerful speech" of the 2019 Plastic Health Summit, Dr. Shaw's onstage talk in Amsterdam reached a livestream audience of 400 million people. Now you can tune in to see "When Plastics Burn", an urgent call-to-action for our time.

Don't miss: Soundbite remarks from lead scientists at the Plastic Health Summit, courtesy of the Plastic Soup Foundation.


Focus Areas

Through its focused initiatives, the Institute addresses critical health and environmental issues related to toxic chemical exposure among people and wildlife. From ocean plastics to human and wildlfie exposure, we strive to bring science-based solutions to these priority concerns.

Human Exposure

Plastics and

Marine Wildlife Exposure

Oil Spill Response

Maine Coast Monitoring

Lecture Series

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