“The public wants to hear from you,” Mary Woolley, CEO and president of Research!America, explained during a videoconference on August 28 with student advocates at the University of California Global Health Institute.
“The best way to connect with someone is through the heart, not the mind,” she said, encouraging students to share their story, not just their data with the public and policymakers. Researchers and lawmakers can find common ground on global health issues, she noted. “Our troops are at risk all around the world, including from diseases that aren’t endemic to the U.S. Everyone benefits from research to eliminate those disease threats.”
Using advocacy tools, Woolley said scientists can connect with lawmakers and their communities, through writing op-eds, hosting community engagement events, and publically acknowledging the congressional champions who have fought to increase funds for research and preserve the work of the Fogarty International Center. “The most important four words a researcher can say to the public: I work for you,” she concluded.
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