Distinguished Speaker: Raymond Neutra HVS ’57

Dr. Raymond Richard Neutra was born in Los Angeles in 1939. For 25 years Dr. Neutra was on the board of the Besant Hill School.

Dr. Neutra and his late wife Penelope had 5 sons and six grandchildren. In 2008 he married a high school friend Peggy Bauhaus who had two sons with her late husband and also has six grandchildren, between them they have seven sons and thirteen grandchildren! He is an amateur guitar player and singer, enjoys digital photography, hiking, traveling, scuba diving and reading in ethics, religion, philosophy of science, psychology ,economic development history and detective stories.  See Raymond Neutra’s photos here.

Raymond Neutra

Raymond Neutra

Dr. Neutra serves on the the Ethics and on the Policy Committees of ISEE. He is helping to fund raise for the Richard and Dion Neutra VDL Studio/Residences. This was designed by his late father, architect Richard Neutra and his brother Dion. In 1990 it was left to Cal Poly Pomona College of Environmental Design. (see www.neutra-vdl.org) He and his wife have volunteered with the Royal Institute of Health Sciences in Bhutan. He is developing a course on decision making for undergraduates and has been writing and publishing essays on a number of topics including the experiences of the unsung Public Health heroes who keep us healthy.

Chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control (DEODC) after 27 years at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). DEODC included the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, the California Occupational Health Branch, the Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, the California Birth Defects Registry and the Environmental Health Investigations Branch. This Division of 200 people is responsible for conducting investigations and providing technical assistance and advice to State and County officials with regard to occupational and environmental problems. Dr. Neutra was also the Chief of the Electric and Magnetic Fields Program (EMF), a multiyear study of policy related research. This program included projects that evaluated precautionary actions at schools and along power lines from both an ethical and cost/effectiveness point of view ( see www.ehib.org/emf) Prior to accepting his position as Division Chief, Dr. Neutra worked for fifteen years developing an environmental health investigations capacity in CDHS, serving as Section Chief and then as Branch Chief.

Before joining CDHS in 1980, he was a tenured Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Medical School and the School of Public Health (February, 1977 to May, 1980), and an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School and the School of Public Health (June, 1973 to February, 1977). He carried out epidemiological research in Cali, Colombia, SouthAmerica for three years and was medical officer for the Indian Health Service on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico (1966-1968).

Dr. Neutra received his Bachelors degree from Pomona College in 1961, his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and his Masters (1969) and Doctorate (1974) degrees in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He speaks Spanish, French and German.

Dr. Neutra is board certified in preventive medicine. He is co-author of a textbook on clinical quantitative decision analysis and of a medical anthropological book on seizures among the Navajo. He has published more than a hundred scientific articles or book chapters.. These reveal a particular interest in reproductive epidemiology, disease clusters, electric and magnetic fields, the application of epidemiology to quantitative decisionmaking, and the relevance of ethical frameworks and public participation to the formation of environmental health policy. He has been President of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, from which he received the John Goldsmith award for career achievement. He has served on the scientific advisory boards of the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registries and the World Health Organization where he chaired a workshop on the precautionary principle.. He has been on the editorial boards of Epidemiology, Annals of Environmental Health, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, and Environmental Health, an on-line journal.