Welcome to the seventh episode of Temperature Check—Grist’s new podcast on climate, race, and culture. Host Andrew Simon and returning co-host Angely Mercado open the latest installment with a discussion on global warming and some, um, hot jokes.

Simon and guest Gaurab Basu later delve into the need for bold policy measures, rewriting relationships with nature, and teaching medical students about advocacy. Plus, a game of “name that doctor” trivia! No idea what that means? You’ll find out when you tune into this week’s episode.

Host Andrew Simon is Grist’s director of leadership programming and founding editor of the Grist 50, an annual list of emerging climate and justice leaders. Previously a senior editor at Fast Company and ESPN, Andrew is also the author of Racing While Black: How an African-American Stock Car Team Made Its Mark on NASCAR.

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Co-host Angely Mercado is a writer, freelance fact-checker, and researcher from Queens, New York. She is a reporting fellow at Grist, where she covers the intersection of environmental and racial justice. Her work is also featured in The Nation, MotherJones, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and more. She hopes to make it to 2021 if all goes well. Follow more of her work on Twitter @AngelyMercado.

Guest Gaurab Basu, MD, MPH is a physician and founding co-director of the Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy (CHEEA). He is an instructor at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and a health equity fellow at the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Basu has a background in human rights and global health. He has expertise in health equity medical education and the impacts of climate change on health. He is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation “Culture of Health Leader,” a 3-year health equity leadership program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Basu has served as one of the clinical leads of CHA’s COVID Community Management clinical services.

He has received numerous awards in medical education, including the Charles McCabe Faculty Prize in Excellence at Harvard Medical School. He co-directs the social medicine curriculum at Harvard Medical School and serves on the Harvard Medical School’s Task Force to Address Racism.

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He has testified and spoken on behalf of state and federal climate policies at legislative sessions and town halls, and serves on the city of Cambridge’s Net-Zero Climate Task Force. He has spoken at numerous medical institutions on climate change and health equity medical education. He has written for the Boston Globe, Grist, Scientific American, NPR/WBUR, Philadelphia Inquirer, Academic Medicine, STAT News, and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Think Global Health. His work in climate change medical education has been featured by NPR’s All Things Considered.

Basu was a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Sommer scholar, where he studied human rights. Basu is trained in community organizing and has served as a coach for workshops run by Harvard Kennedy School Professor Marshall Ganz. He has previously worked for the Gates Institute, Partners in Health, and Last Mile Health.

You can listen to the seventh episode of Temperature Check on Grist, and subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes will drop weekly.

Useful links from the episode:


Gaurab Basu, “Want to prevent the next pandemic? This doctor is prescribing climate action,” Grist, May 12, 2020

Gaurab Basu, “Scientists and Health Experts Need to Be Advocates,” Scientific American, November 13, 2020

Martha Bebinger, “Medical Residents Learn To Treat The Growing Health Hazards Of Climate Change,” NPR, October 12, 2020

Gaurab Basu’s Twitter: @GaurabBasuMDMPH