air pollutionAir pollution is a multifaceted challenge that touches all aspects of life in China. Both the public and policymakers recognize this, and yet few have a full picture of the many factors that contribute to air pollution or understand the complex challenges involved in its prevention and control. As a result, despite aggressive policies to combat the pollution, progress has been slower and less consistent than many have hoped.

With this in mind, FORHEAD (the Forum on Health, Environment and Development) and the UCI Long US-China Institute have joined in a collective effort to introduce a more nuanced account of current research on the contemporary state of air pollution in China and highlight gaps and common misunderstandings. During this coming winter, two conferences will take place in Beijing (China) and later in Irvine (California, United States), gathering a range of scholars from around the world.

Top scholars from the natural, medical, and social sciences have been invited to contribute a interdisciplinary range of reviews. To provide a more comprehensive view of risks from air pollution, experts in natural science and medical science will address such fundamental questions as: What is considered air pollution in the first place? What are the causes and how are they interconnected? What are the ramifications for human health and societal development?

Their social science colleagues will unveil the inner workings of air pollution governance, including issues relating to regulation, policy implementation and the development of new legal and institutional frameworks for regional pollution control. They will examine the roles played by state and market actors in shaping compliance or the lack thereof. Public discourse on air pollution will also be explored by examining the way the issue is constructed by media and the role of NGOs.   

These reviews will ultimately be shared on a broader platform via an edited volume as well as online dissemination through audio summaries. 

Spaces are limited for the UCI conference. Email Christine Chiao, at, if you would like to attend.


Discussants in Beijing, November 10-11, 2017. Hosted by FORHEAD.

Wang Li, Institute of Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Kathinka Furst, Duke University Kunshan

Li Tiantian, China CDC

Wang Wuyi, Institute of Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Wang Shuxiao, Tsinghua University

Yang Lichao, Beijing Normal University

Yu Wenhao, Central University of Finance and Economics

Zheng Rui, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Zhao Peihong, Hebei University of Finance and Trade

Jennifer Holdaway, University of Oxford, FORHEAD

Benjamin van Rooij, UC Irvine


Discussants in Irvine, December 15-16, 2017. Hosted by Long Institute.

Steve Davis, UC Irvine

Bryan Tilt, University of Oregon

Deborah Seligsohn, UC San Diego

Genia Kostka, Hertie

Yu Wenhao, Central University of Finance and Economics

Thomas Johnson, University of Sheffield

Yang Guobin, University of Pennsylvania

Alex Wang, UCLA

Denise van der Kamp, University of Pennsylvania

Jennifer Holdaway, University of Oxford, FORHEAD

Benjamin van Rooij, UC Irvine

connect with us


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766