Increasing Awareness of the Importance of Medical Research with Research!America’s CEO Mary Woolley and VP Jenny Luray

In this episode, Mark and his guests, Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research!America, and Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Vice President of Strategy and Communications, discuss a range of topics related to the health and economic benefits of medical research and how scientists can get involved in developing and influencing public policy, including: 

  • The recent Day ONE Project policy concept paper, “Modernizing the Relationship between Scientists and the Public”, which Mary and Jenny wrote with Sarah Ackerman, PhD, a Science Policy Fellow at Research!America
  • Why it’s taken such a catastrophic event as COVID-19 for sustained encounters between scientists and the public, particularly since so much of scientific research is publicly-funded and scientific breakthroughs have such a major societal impact
  • How this overall lack of familiarity has impacted the level of adherence, generally, to public health measures for containing the spread of the virus that are grounded in scientific evidence such as wearing a mask and social distancing
  • Public Engagement (PE) training for STEM PhDs proposed in the Day ONE Project policy concept paper that would include instruction in effective communications with general audiences and policymakers and related skill-building
  • The hunger for, and interest in, such training from STEM PhDs — and Mark’s own first-hand experience providing courses, workshops, and talks in these areas to grad students, PhDs, and Postdocs underscoring such interest
  • How training in these skills are also more broadly transferable to all types of jobs outside academia
  • Research!America’s work and priorities and how the response to COVID-19 is an historic example of the value of public-private partnerships — whether it’s about PPE, vaccine development, or other critical needs to respond to the pandemic.
  • How the pandemic could influence the conversation around federally-funded R&D

Resources Accompany the Episode

During a Highly Partisan Time in Our Nation, Survey Shows Broad Bi-partisan Support for a Stronger Focus on Science

Press release:

Survey results:

Civic Engagement Microgrants:

Day One Project:

Modernizing the Relationship between Scientists and the Public:

Vote Science Strong:

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