Lecture Notes Physiological Impact of Stress

Shane Shuma '22, Staff Writer

The Clarke Forum welcomed Zaneta Thayer, a biological anthropologist and assistant professor in the anthropology department at Dartmouth College, to discuss how socioeconomic statues and stress affect health outcomes in the United States.

The event, “The Biology of Inequality,” highlighted the research that Thayer had done in New Zealand to determine how the stress that mothers face affects their hormone levels and what factors can lead to that stress, specifically discrimination and fears surrounding health and economic security. Additionally, Thayer analyzed how stress affects health in all stages of life, from prenatal to death, and how socioeconomic status affects stress. 

Students of science and non-science majors reacted positively to Thayer’s lecture. Carmen Canino ’22, a Biochemistry major, enjoyed Thayer’s points and said, “[…] I am also interested in social justice. And I think it was just an intersect where the two fields connect.” Canino continued, “it was a good talk. It was more of a refresher than full new information for me, but it was still great to come and learn more than I did.” 

Caroline Celedon ’22, a student project manager for the Clarke Forum, also enjoyed the lecture and interviewed Thayer earlier in the day. “I feel like today’s talk was an extension of all that I learned about […] how we can learn from indigenous knowledge and give back to these communities and try to repair the damage we have done in the past,” Celedon said. She also thought that the event was a success for students and the Clarke Forum due to the large audience turnout. “I feel like there was a diverse group of students,” Celedon said, “I think it was a talk that reached across a lot of fields and I felt like there was a lot of questions from the audience.” Erin Lowe ’22, another student project manager, helped to run the event and said it was “fantastic.” “I didn’t know a lot about the subject matter in advance,” Lowe said, “so I think it was very acceptable and it was captivating, and I learned a lot.”  

The lecture took place on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in ATS and was co-sponsored by the departments of Philosophy, American studies, Sociology, Anthropology, and Health studies.