230073 Using Media to Promote Non-Corporate Science

Sunday, November 7, 2010

David Egilman, MD, MPH , Department of Family Medicine, Brown University, Attleboro, MA
There is an imbalance of resources dedicated to promoting corporate-funded research over industry-independent research. Corporate interests exercise disproportionate control over scientific research, public policy, and the media, which greatly influences public health outcomes and perceptions of science in the media. Private interests hire media and PR firms that often obscure the public health costs of industrial production, and promote corporate conclusions to the public. Media communications services for scientists and physicians conducting non-corporate research can help get non-corporate conclusions that protect public health into the mainstream to compete with corporate-funded research. We propose the formation of an organization that will provide media communications services for scientists and physicians, including training scientists in effective public speaking techniques, brokering relationships between scientists and media outlets, utilizing social media to promote research conclusions, connecting scientists with regulatory agencies and lawmarkers, and assisting scientists with drafting editorials and opinion pieces for major media outlets and online blogs. The benefits of media communications services for non-corporate research include opportunities to teach the public the difference between corporate and non-corporate science, restoring public trust in scientific evidence and analysis, teaching science literacy, supporting the proliferation of industry-independent research, and incentivizing the responsible treatment of workers, consumers, and the environment by corporations.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain how media communications services for scientists and physicians conducting industry-independent research can help get industry-independent research conclusions into the mainstream.

Keywords: Media Campaigns, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach courses on issues in health policy and environmental/occupational health at Brown University in the Department of Community Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.