science communication

Communication throughout the pandemic has been critical and Clear Voice Award co-recipients Anne Schuchat, MD , and Michelle Williams, ScD , have been at the forefront. “Communication has never been more important than this past year. And it's never been more difficult,” Dr. Schuchat. For the Research!America 2021 Virtual Advocacy Awards, Clear Voice Award introductions were made by Research!America Board Member Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD , Associate Professor at Duke University Medical Center. The recipients were joined by Seema Kumar , Global Head, Office of Innovation, Global Health and Scientific Engagement, Johnson & Johnson, for a conversation about science communication in a public...
Dear Research Advocate, Today, a Surgeon General’s Advisory was released on “ Confronting Health Misinformation ,” directing every American’s attention to the harm misinformation causes to individual and public health. Research!America applauds Surgeon General Murthy for calling on the nation to work together in a “whole of society” push to confront and build resilience against health misinformation. Relevant to the nation’s efforts to combat misinformation, Jen Easterly was sworn in on Tuesday as director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), after unanimous approval by the Senate. CISA houses a robust resource library to help...
When it comes to politics and policy, Americans overwhelmingly believe that science should be a part of the conversation. In a public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America in January 2021 89% of respondents said it was very or somewhat important for scientists to inform elected officials about their research and its impact on society. Similarly, 88% said it was very or somewhat important for elected officials to listen to advice from scientists, and 87% said it was important for elected officials to listen to advice from public health professionals. Research!America is committed to putting science front and center in policymaking. In order to make this goal a reality, our elected...
Americans largely think the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed major changes needed to public health systems. We asked participants to select from two statements: “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that major changes are needed in our public health systems, including more funding” or “The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime event and existing systems are dealing with it adequately.” Seven in 10 said they believed that major changes are needed to our public health systems. Though pandemic preparedness is an important component of public health systems, Americans also need these systems to address long-standing public health challenges like the opioid crisis. When asked about opioid abuse...
According to a January 2021 survey commissioned by Research!America, most Americans (72%) cannot name a living scientist. Similarly, over half of Americans could not name a medical or health research institution, and 43% were unaware that medical research is conducted in all 50 U.S. states. However, the number saying they could name a living scientist increased from just 20% in 2017 to 27% in the most recent survey. The increased visibility of science during the COVID-19 pandemic may be behind this jump. Pfizer and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention topped the list of named research institutions. Despite this lack of visibility, those polled largely held scientists in high...
In a fast-paced, ever-changing biomedical and political landscape, it is more important than ever for biomedical researchers to communicate effectively with policymakers. Recognizing the importance of equipping students with science communication tools, Michigan State University’s Science Communication group, MSU SciComm, a 2019-2020 Research!America microgrant recipient, has developed Conveyance, a virtual conference to connect students with science communication leaders taking place March 20-21, 2021. During Conveyance, attendees can participate in sessions on topics like science policy, literature, art, and outreach. Science artists Dr. Semarhy Quiñones and Kelly Stanford will guide...
Since our founding more than 30 years ago, a key strategy tool in Research!America's advocacy for science and medical research has been influencing public opinion. As President Abraham Lincoln said, “…public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Over our 28 years of commissioning surveys, Research!America has asked a wide variety of questions about the importance of scientists informing the public and elected officials about their research and its impacts. In August 2020, our survey asked: "How important is it for scientists to inform the public about their research and its impact on society?" In response, 8 in 10 Americans...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Robert Shalett, Research!America’s Director of Communications. Critical to Research!America’s mission is to encourage researchers to talk about their work. It is important for non-scientists to know how research and scientific discovery support all Americans in our daily lives, from professional settings to at home. Our survey data indicates that the public thinks it is important for scientists to discuss their research and its impact. But that is only part of it. Effective advocacy campaigns require focused, sustained effort. This is why your voice is needed right now. As my colleague Ellie mentioned last week, the hard-fought lifting...
I valued the opportunity earlier this week to join the team from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science as they delivered their high quality program at Mississippi State University. Mr. Alda gave a typically inspirational and amusing keynote and also kicked off the interactive sessions the next morning. The Alda Method© team-teaches communication skills, drawing on working actors’ improvisational abilities coupled with the expertise of educators and researchers who regularly contribute to the academic literature, including the Oxford Handbook of The Science of Science Communication . As more academic institutions consider adding a communication and public engagement component to...
Last year, I attended the Houston March for Science as a Ph.D. student at Baylor College of Medicine. I marched to stand with my community and fellow scientists to foster support for research and scientific funding. I watched as thousands marched toward city hall, nerdy signs in hand, to demonstrate how scientific research has improved our medical care and shaped our understanding of the world. It was a watershed moment for researchers, making it apparent that a public voice for the scientific community was needed. I remember distinctly on that day: our message was heard loud and clear. Since the march, there has been an influx of scientists getting involved in local elections, and advocacy...

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