The Normal Willett Memorial Lecture
(sponsored by the Education Committee)

Glenn F. Rall, PhD
Professor and Associate Chief Academic Officer
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia

“The Chasm Between What Scientists Know and What the Public Thinks:
The Risks to Public Health and Creative Strategies to Close the Gap”

Most would agree that biomedical research is challenging, fraught with obstacles and dead ends.  But for research with translational implications, the work has only just begun once the data are analyzed and published.  The lay public- the end consumers of our research efforts- are influenced by numerous, often contradictory, pressures when making decisions about their own health care, and scientists have been justifiably surprised and confused by the public response to what seems to be clear and compelling science.  The reluctance of parents to vaccinate their children for fear of causing autism is perhaps one of the most well documented examples of the chasm.  Given this lack of parity between what scientists “know” and how the public interprets it, what responsibilities do we, as scientists have in closing this gap? In this lecture, the vaccine-autism debate will be used to identify some of the potential causes of failed communication, and to propose strategies to find common ground between scientists and the lay public. 

5pm,  Reception
6pm, Lecture

Bluemle Life Sciences Building
233 S. 10th Street (10th and Locust)

(Discount parking available at the lot entrance on 11th street, under the Hamilton Bldg)