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Communicating Science to the Public

Recent years have been marked by remarkable scientific progress—particularly in cancer research—but also by a decline trust in the scientific enterprise among the public.

Scientists have a responsibility to communicate scientific advances and their benefits to the public. Cancer researchers can play a vital role in quelling misinformation, educating patients and caregivers about important scientific advances, and helping policy makers make informed decisions regarding health care policy and research funding.

With its vast experience in communicating science to diverse audiences, the AACR is ideally positioned to provide cancer scientists and clinicians with the tools and training to effectively explain their research to the world. During his term as 2023-2024 AACR President, Philip D. Greenberg, MD, FAACR, launched a program to help cancer scientists improve their communication skills.

The first element of this new program was a special educational session held during the AACR Annual Meeting 2024 (April 5-10, San Diego, California). Titled “Strategies to Effectively Communicate Science to the Public,” the session provided scientists with strategies for translating complex, technical information about their scientific findings into readily understood messages for the media, policy makers, and the public.

Additional educational opportunities will be offered in the coming year. In the meantime, this initial session is available for viewing below.

Strategies to Effectively Communicate Science to the Public

AACR Annual Meeting 2024
Saturday, April 6, 2024

Read a Summary of This Session on Cancer Research Catalyst

Session Program

  • Moderator
    William G. Nelson, Editor-in-Chief, Cancer Today Magazine
    Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Introduction
    Philip D. Greenberg, 2023-2024 AACR President
    Rona Jaffe Foundation Endowed Chair and Professor and Head of the Program in Immunology
    Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, Washington
  • The importance of communicating science to the public [05:15]
    William G. Nelson
  • Communicating to underserved communities [20:12]
    Lisa A. Newman, Steering Committee, AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2022
    Chief, Section of Breast Surgery, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
  • Communicating science to policy makers [32:26]
    Mary C. Beckerle, AACR Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee
    Professor of Biology, CEO & Director, University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Communicating science to patients and advocates [48:10]
    Bianca N. Islam, Scientist Mentor, AACR Scientist↔Survivor Program®
    Gastroenterology Research Fellow, Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Assisting journalists with accurate reporting [1:00:37]
    Clifton Leaf, Adjunct Professor of Journalism, Columbia University School of Journalism, New York, New York
    Global Fellow, Ellison Institute of Technology
    Former Editor-in-Chief, FORTUNE
  • Panel Discussion / Audience Questions [1:13:28]