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Building and sustaining public trust in science

Francis S. Collins, Katrine Wallace and Kurt Newman join Washington Post Live on Tuesday, Dec. 6. (Video: The Washington Post)

The coronavirus pandemic has underlined the value of clearly communicating scientific data, public health guidance and risk factors amidst uncertainty. Join Washington Post Live for a series of conversations with Francis S. Collins, former director of the National Institutes of Health, Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, and Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children’s National Hospital, about strengthening trust in science across society, countering misinformation and navigating heightened political divisions.

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“So Elon, if you’ve built your whole career on science, why aren’t you worried about a circumstance where there is unbridled release of demonstrably false information that is dangerous to peoples’ health?” – Francis S. Collins (Video: Washington Post Live)
“They’re starting to talk more about maybe another wave of vaccines, especially for older people. I think that might be setting the stage for being able to ultimately relax the zero covid strategy without appearing to have had it wrong to begin with. But they’ve kind of painted themselves into a difficult corner here.” – Francis S. Collins (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Christians of all people are supposed to be people of truth. ‘The truth will set you free,’ the words of Jesus, John chapter 8. So, how could it be that when you look at the circumstances right now, the group that is most likely to be suspicious and resistant to vaccines are white, evangelical Christians? It’s so upside down.” – Francis S. Collins (Video: Washington Post Live)
“A lot of times when people are believing these misinformation conspiracies, it’s because people are scared and there’s a sense of control there, like ‘Oh, well it’s all made up, it’s all just a conspiracy.’ That kind of gives them this control back. But I feel like if you give them the real information but then also give them a sense of control, it helps.” – Katrine Wallace (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Once something takes hold, it’s across the board, so it’ll be from all platforms... Once I start to see comments over and over, I know that this is something that’s taken hold. And it’s like a cancer, once something takes hold it just doesn’t stop and it keeps rearing its ugly head.” – Katrine Wallace (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We’re seeing an unprecedented convergence of these viruses, whether it’s the COVID… general cold viruses, but also flu and RSV and they’re all hitting at the same time… Put on top of that the mental health crisis we’re facing in children… it’s this perfect storm.” – Kurt Newman (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We’re seeing the incidence of diabetes has risen. Nobody expected that. So we’re seeing not only more cases of diabetes… but we’ve also seen a really tremendous rise in the number of type-2 diabetes, and we’re thinking that that relates to children who are not getting as much exercise, maybe gaining weight, and we’re seeing that earlier and much more severe.” – Kurt Newman (Video: Washington Post Live)

Francis S. Collins

Special Adviser to the President for Special Projects

Former Director, National Institutes of Health

Katrine Wallace

Epidemiologist, University of Illinois Chicago, School of Public Health

Kurt Newman

President & CEO, Children’s National Hospital

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(Video: Washington Post Live)

Advancing Transparency in Industry-Funded Science

Research collaborations to develop and translate scientific innovation are essential for overcoming the most pressing challenges of our time.

Partnerships involving private-sector funding, however, are sometimes regarded with skepticism. In a segment presented by Bayer, Matthias Berninger, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability, will be joined by Dr. Cary Funk, Director of Science and Society Research, Pew Research Center to discuss: How can companies strengthen public trust in industry-funded research through more transparency?

Matthias Berninger

Executive Vice President & Head of Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability, Bayer

Cary Funk

Director of Science and Society Research, Pew Research Center