A tribute to Dr. Kirk Smith

Dr. Kirk Smith unexpectedly passed away on June 15, 2020, at his home in Berkeley, USA following a stroke and cardiac arrest. Dr. Smith, Professor of Global Environmental Health at University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health, was the founding director of Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre (CCAPC).

Note: This text was first published on the CCAPC website. Read the full tribute here.

Prof. Smith worked on household air pollution related issues with a level of insight, engagement, and passion that has no parallel.  His science was inherently collaborative; he worked consistently and constantly with colleagues over 40 years to make a difference in the lives of millions of poor women and children struggling with the impacts of using solid cooking fuels. The CCAPC was his latest brainchild, emerging from his conversations with some of us – KB, AM, AS – about the necessity of bringing the best scientific analysis into policy-making.  In fact, the name of the Centre embodies what he deeply valued  – collaboration and clean air – and recognized policy as key to achieving the latter. Prof. Smith’s dedication to CCAPC and its mission was evident by his spending four to five months every year living and working in Delhi to shepherd the Centre and work on vital issues of air pollution exposure and related health effects and policy interventions. Notably, even though he had numerous distinguished affiliations at many prestigious institutions across the world, he chose to highlight his newest role at CCAPC in his email signature.

Kirk’s Golden Paradigms for Clean Cooking
#1: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
#2: Follow the risk
#3: You don’t get what you expect, you get what you inspect
#4: Make the clean available, instead of waiting to make the available clean
#5: It is a health problem!

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