Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) will sponsor a special colloquium to examine practical steps that might be taken by journalists, health researchers, journal editors and communication specialists to strengthen news coverage of health research. The colloquium will also be available as a live webcast at: www.hsph.harvard.edu
A steady drumbeat of front-page controversies, surprises, and scandals over the past two years--Vioxx, obesity-related mortality rates, estrogen, calcium, low-fat, and stem cell research fraud, among others--threatens to seriously damage the credibility of health research, creating a risk that the public will turn away from public health pronouncements. As a recent USA Today editorial put it, "Yesterday's conventional wisdom is today's myth. No wonder so many are skeptical about whether any study can be believed." And, The New York Times recently carried this headline: "Reporters Find Science Journals Harder to Trust, But Not Easy to Verify."
Speakers at the May 9 event will include:
Dr. Lawrence Altman, medical correspondent of The New York Times, Dr. Tim Johnson, medical editor of ABC News, Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dr. Drummond Rennie, deputy editor of The Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Meir Stampfer, chairman of the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH, Dr. Jay Winsten, associate dean and Frank Stanton director of HSPH's Center for Health Communication
This program is part of a colloquium series on Mass Media and Health sponsored by HSPH's Center for Health Communication in collaboration with the School's Division of Public Health Practice and the Office of Communications.