WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in conjunction with National Families in Action (NFIA), has announced the inaugural workshop of the Addiction Studies Institute for Journalists, designed to give reporters and editors the latest scientific information about the causes and nature of drug addiction.
Journalists who attend the workshop here Sept. 8-9 will benefit from research at Wake Forest and other top institutions. Wake Forest is home to one of the most-respected drug abuse research programs in the nation; the department housing the program is ranked third of its kind nationally in research funding by the National Institutes of Health in 1999.
The institute will help reporters to better understand scientific processes and research terminology and to translate it into accessible and interesting material for their audiences. The inaugural workshop in September will be designed especially for medical and science writers.
"We want to help reporters learn the scientific language to help them write award-winning - and scientifically accurate - stories," said David P. Friedman, Ph.D., co-director of the institute. "You don't have to be a scientist to be able to speak the language that will get you good stories and help translate science into lay language."
Friedman, an associate professor of physiology/pharmacology and himself a drug abuse investigator, said the idea for the institute grew from research that shows the American public clamors for the latest technical information but often doesn't have the basic scientific knowledge to understand it.
Journalists can help to bridge that gap, Friedman said. "Drug abuse is a huge problem for our society. What we've learned in our research is that it is also an extremely complicated problem physiologically. Journalists need to have the best information they can get."
Many story ideas will result from participation in the institute, Friedman predicted. Althoug
Contact: Mark Wright
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center