Posts Tagged ‘Rock Stars of Science’

Rock Stars of Science is Back for 2010

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

The Rock Stars of Science campaign is back for its second year.

Unveiled today, the Rock Stars of Science brings rock stars and rockstar scientists together to help raise awareness about the important role of scientific research in our society.

Seven rock stars spanning a wide range of genres – B.o.B, Brett Michaels, Debbie Harry, Heart, Jay Sean, Keri Hilson and Timbaland – teamed up with 17 scientists for the project. The scientists include Stephen B. Baylin, MD; Elizabeth A. Blackburn, PhD; retired Rear Adm. Susan J. Blumenthal, MD; Geraldine Dawson, PhD; Frank L. Douglas, MD, PhD; Bernard A. Harris, MD; Catronia Jamieson, MD, PhD; Emil Kakkis, MD; Frank M. Longo, PhD; Joan Massagué; Mehmet C. Oz, MD; Eric M. Reiman, MD; Charles L. Sawyers, MD; Phillip A. Sharp, PhD; Craig B. Thompson, MD; Mehmet Toner, PhD; and Michael W. Weiner, MD.

“Scientists must venture outside their comfort zones to show the public how cool – and how important – their work really is,” said Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health and one of the 2009 Rock Stars of Science. “I’m thrilled to see all of these big-name musicians using their star power to shine a spotlight on science. However, it is only the beginning. I urge every scientist get into the act by telling friends, neighbors, community leaders, and elected officials about his or her research and what it means for our nation’s health. Imagine how powerful that would be.”

A special six-page public service campaign will appear in GQ’s Men of the Year edition, which hits newsstands on November 23.

“The RSOS campaign shines the spotlight on this critical national issue,” said G. Thompson Hutton, CEO and trustee of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation, supported by the designer menswear brand Geoffrey Beene, LLC, which dedicates 100 percent of net profits to philanthropic causes. “If we invest in research, we will save lives now and trillions of dollars later.”

The Scientist: Scientists Are Heroes

Friday, February 12th, 2010

A post today on, Scientists Are Heroes, covers the release of a new book Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work.

The post author Dennis Meredith (who also wrote the book) talks about how the public views science in popular media and uses several examples of public opinion poll data to make the case that overall the public views scientists favorably:

In a 2006 Harris Poll, for example, Americans said they trusted doctors (85%), teachers (83%), scientists (77%) and professors (75%) far more than they did journalists (39%), lawyers (27%), or pollsters (34%). Respondents to a 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press said that people who contributed the most to society’s well-being were members of the military, teachers, scientists, medical doctors, and engineers. The major survey Science and Engineering Indicators 2008 by the National Science Board concluded that “more Americans expressed a ‘great deal’ of confidence in leaders of the scientific community than in the leaders of any other institution except the military.”

Research!America’s polls have similar results, but we also know that Americans aren’t familiar with actual scientists whose work improves their lives. In a June 2009 poll (PDF), 65% of respondents said no, they could not name a living scientist. And of the 35% who said they could, many named scientists long dead (including Albert Einstein and Marie Curie).

This finding was part of the catalyst for the Geoffrey Beene Foundation’s Rock Stars of Science initiative, which promotes science and research as careers that should be honored as much as rock stars are. Next month Research!America will honor the foundation’s Trustee G. Thompson Hutton, Esq., with an advocacy award.

Advocates working together can build on scientists’ positive image and in doing so allow members of the public to become more familiar with the people behind the science. Without a doubt, scientists are heroes!

VIDEO: Rock Stars of Science Briefing Highlights

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Flip through the video highlights from September’s Rock Stars of Science briefing below or watch on Research!America’s Video highlights from the Rock Stars of Science briefing on September 24 are now available through Research!America’s YouTube channel.

Scientists, Joe Perry Rock Capitol Hill

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Aerosmith co-founder Joe Perry performed onstage with NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, and Harvard’s Rudy Tanzi, PhD, at a Capitol Hill event today celebrating scientists.

Sponsored by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation, Research!America, Wyeth, Elan, GQ and the Alzheimer’s Association, the Rock Stars of Science briefing also included ABC News’ Terry Moran as moderator of panels about Alzheimer’s disease and cancer research and conversations with members of Congress, including the co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, Rep. Edward Markey (MA), Rep. Chris Smith (NJ) and Sen. Mark Warner (VA).

George Vradenburg, chairman of the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back® Alzheimer’s Initiative and founding member of LEAD-Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease, and Robert Egge, vice president of public policy and advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association, talked about the goal of stopping Alzheimer’s by 2020. Alysia Snell of Lake Research Partners presented new public opinion poll findings about the awareness and attitudes about Alzheimer’s disease.

Research!America President Mary Woolley talked about the hope research provides and the Research!America public opinion poll finding that inspired the Rock Stars of Science campaign: most Americans can’t name a living scientist.

Rep. Brian Bilbray (CA), Rep. Mike Castle (DE) and Rep. Rush Holt (NJ), co-chairs of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus, spoke about research as part of the health care reform debate and competition for research resources among diseases.

NIH Director Collins also spoke about his vision for the institutes, and Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke about today’s release of the promising research into an HIV/AIDS vaccine.

In addition to their performance, Perry and Tanzi also talked with Dale Schenk, PhD; Moran and Meryl Comer, executive producer of the Rock Stars of Science campaign, about the similarities between making music and conducting research.

Laura Ziskin, filmmaker and founder of Stand Up To Cancer; Laura Shawver, PhD, CEO of Phenomix Corporation and member of the Stand Up to Cancer Scientific Advisory Committee; Amy Dockser Marcus, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Wall Street Journal; and singer and actor Delta Goodrem spoke with Moran about making strides in cancer research and their personal stories of cancer survival. Goodrem performed a song to close the event.

This morning, Perry spoke with CNN about Rock Stars of Science.

Find out more about the Rock Stars of Science, and nominate your own rock star scientist at

The Cavalier Daily: Rock Star of Science

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The University of Virginia’s newspaper The Cavalier Daily ran an article about Rock Stars of Science, a campaign in partnership with Geoffrey Beene Gives Back to raise awareness about scientific research and scientists. Steven T. DeKosky, MD, vice president and dean of UVA’s medical school, was one of the scientists profiled in the campaign.

“A scientific literate society is in the position to make well-informed decisions,” DeKosky said. “The problem is not that the public is disinterested in scientific research.” Rather, the recognition gap is more a product of poor scientific literacy rates in today’s society, he said.

The article mentions poll data from Research!America’s pre-election public opinion poll. Continue reading the article here, and don’t forget to sign the Rock Stars of Science declaration in support of medical research.

NIH Director Nominee is A Rock Star of Science

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Francis Collins with his double helix guitarFrancis S. Collins, MD, PhD, whose nomination to head the National Institutes of Health was announced this week, still makes time to jam on the customized “double helix” acoustic guitar that was presented to him by a grateful staff when he was director of National Human Genome Research Institute.

Dr. Collins, 10 other leading medical researchers and several rock music artists are part of the Rock Stars of Science campaign, sponsored by Geoffrey Beene Gives Back. Rock S.O.S showcases the need for greater research funding and works to capture the imaginations of the next generation of rock star scientists.

To learn more about ROCK S.O.S, sign a declaration calling for more funding for science research or nominate a Rock Star of Science, go to

This Independence Day: Sign the Declaration!

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Rock Stars of ScienceJoin Research!America and support the Rock Stars of Science, a new campaign created by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation in partnership with GQ magazine. It brings rock stars together with some of the nation’s leading medical researchers to advocate for greater research funding and bridge the recognition gap for scientists among the public. The campaign was sparked by a Research!America poll finding (pdf) that 74% of Americans cannot name a living scientist.

  • Sign the Rock S.O.S Declaration urging stronger research funding. Research!America and the Beene Foundation will deliver all signatures to Congress in the fall to show the public support for science.
  • Nominate a “rock star of science” to make the public more aware of the outstanding work of our nation’s best scientists.

Keep checking Research!America’s Web site and the Rock S.O.S Web site for updates.

Rock Stars of Science Campaign Launched

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Rock S.O.SGeoffrey Beene Gives Back and GQ Magazine have launched Rock Stars of Science (ROCK S.O.S), a public service campaign bringing rock stars together with some of the nation’s leading medical researchers to advocate for greater research funding.

The Rock S.O.S campaign idea was generated in part by a recent Research!America public opinion poll finding (PDF): 74% of Americans can’t name a living scientist. ROCK S.O.S aims to bridge that recognition gap.

The June issue of GQ Magazine kicks off the initiative with a six-page photo spread, which features Sheryl Crow; former National Human Genome Research Institute Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD; Aerosmith’s Joe Perry; presidential adviser Harold Varmus, MD; Josh Groban; Harvard University researcher Rudy Tanzi, PhD; and many others.

“Scientists like to tell ourselves that we are too busy to worry about image,” Collins said in a Rock S.O.S press release. “But the reality is that our work only has a chance of making a difference if we build a much broader base of popular support.”

Meryl Comer, president of the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer’s Initiative and ROCK S.O.S campaign coordinator, said, “ROCK S.O.S will help mobilize Americans in a number of ways to end this moment in history when our greatest minds and dedicated public servants are too often overlooked.”

Geoffrey Beene is a designer menswear brand that donates 100% of its profits to philanthropic causes.

See, launched today, for more information about the project, profiles of the rock star scientists and to sign a declaration calling for more funding for science research. Visitors to the site can also sign up to become a part of Research!America’s advocacy network to receive updates about taking action and contacting Congress to increase federal funding for research.

Sign onto the Rock S.O.S declaration for more funding for research.

View a behind-the-scenes video of the creation of the GQ ad spread and hear the rock stars talk about the importance of research.

Here, Ron Peterson, MD, PhD, talks about translational research and its impact on patients.

Sign onto the Rock S.O.S declaration for more funding for research.