Dearing Receives Grant to Study City Solutions to Climate Change

July 31, 2019 - James Dearing

James Dearing has received a $375,748 research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, to help with the diffusion of climate change solutions among cities in the United States.  While some cities are adopting innovations to reduce their carbon emissions, other cities have yet to take action.  And while some cities are leading the way in the U.S. in taking action on climate change, even they are not adopting as many effective innovations as they could.

“Some cities are doing a great job,” said Dearing.  “We want to accelerate these adoption decisions and broaden the reach of effective innovations to slow climate change.”  Dearing is Brandt Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication.

The 18-month study has two objectives.  First, the team will study current practices, technologies and policies that are already spreading from city to city and modeling those diffusion processes.  The second objective is a 50-state network analysis to learn which public health departments are sources of advice for other health departments about new practices, technologies and policies that can reduce carbon emissions.

Dearing led grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2018 to study the global diffusion of health innovations (co-led by Professor Maria Lapinski), and review and recommend a research agenda for Project ECHO that uses teleconferencing among medical specialists and general practitioners to bring specialty care to underserved rural patients.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ( endeavors to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come.