Dear Research Advocate, Clarity is all-too elusive right now. On so many decisions, it can feel like we’re staring through soot-covered glass. Clarity — unvarnished truths and concrete solutions — is the thread that ties together every feature of our 2021 National Health Research Forum. See more on the Forum below. A Welcome Piece of Clarity : The FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week for ages 16 and up. The fast-paced, but thorough approval process is testament to the speed at which research and policy can move in concert when urgency brings sufficient resources to bear. We’re grateful the FDA is applying the same level of diligence to ensuring vaccines will be safe...
Dear Research Advocate, As the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, taking more lives and impacting us all, the urgency of conveying accurate, persuasive information, as well as effectively combating mis- and dis-information, has reached ‘code red’ levels. Complicating the situation further is that scientific and policy decision-making is playing out in real time, and not always in a way that engenders confidence among the public. (The most recent case in point is conflicting views on booster shots.) The science and public health community is learning a new communications skill set, albeit more trial-and-error based than we’d all like. Improving our public engagement and communication skills...
Dear Research Advocate, This week, amidst the Delta-driven surge in the COVID-19 pandemic, the world watched the closing ceremonies of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. One of the most significant health stories to come out of the Olympics — at least for audiences watching in the U.S. — was how the athletes advanced the public discourse on mental health. 2016 Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez played a prominent role in that important conversation, and we are thrilled to announce that she will speak on mental health awareness at our upcoming 2021 National Health Research Forum ! Also joining us are key federal officials, including Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI), White House...
Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research!America, opened the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) annual meeting by leading a conversation on “Combating Anti-Science Thinking” with Georges C. Benjamin, MD , Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, and Bruce Gellin, MD , Chief of Global Public Health Strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation. The panelists addressed disturbing trends in anti-science thinking; the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation; and ongoing efforts within their organizations to address science skepticism, with emphasis on vaccine hesitancy. Here are a few highlights from their discussion, but you can also watch the entire...
Dear Research Advocate, On the Hill: The House has begun its August recess while the Senate remains in session. After attempting to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to take up a budget resolution containing the topline number the Senate will use to allocate FY22 appropriations. No text has been released yet, but adopting a budget resolution will allow Senate appropriators to advance their FY22 spending bills with concrete numbers. We’ll continue to keep you informed. ARPA-H: Research!America provided comments during an ARPA-H listening session with NIH and OSTP leaders yesterday. As Ellie Dehoney, our VP of Policy and Advocacy, stated...
Following is a Q&A with Samantha Theresa Mensah, co-founder and president of #BlackInChem, and one of the organizers of the inaugural BlackInX Conference . She is also a science communications intern at Research!America and a fourth-year PhD candidate at the University of California Los Angeles. What is the BlackInX Conference? The BlackInX Conference is a virtual meeting of members of the BlackInX network. The first BlackInX Conference was held earlier this summer. The BlackInX network is a consortium of over 80 organizations with different disciplinary focuses. Examples include BlackInChem, BlackInBirding, BlackInNeuro, BlackInSciPol, and BlackInPhysics. Part of the racial reckoning...

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