Science, Health, and Public Trust

When is Research News?

Posted on January 11, 2017

Microphones at a press conferencewellphoto/iStock/Thinkstock

As science communicators, we’re often in the know about the latest and greatest research―it’s the nature of the job. The cutting edge of research is an exciting place to be, but science is a careful, thoughtful process. It can take years for researchers to gather enough data to publish an idea. So when’s the right time to cover a hot new study? It’s not always an easy choice.

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Being Transparent About Conflicts of Interest

Posted on December 1, 2016

Transparency image

A conflict of interest arises when people are in a situation that has the potential to undermine their impartiality. These days, the appearance of a conflict can be just as damaging as an actual conflict.

In science, conflicts of interest can potentially influence numerous steps along the research path. These include hypothesis generation; study design; and data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

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How Health Communicators and Journalists Can Help Replace Stigma with Science

Posted on November 10, 2016

Portrait of Nora Volkow

No matter how much progress we make in understanding addiction and how to treat it, my colleagues and I in the field of addiction science keep running into the same obstacle: There are still people who believe addiction is a moral failing that could be solved if the person had more willpower. In fact, the science is clear: Addiction is a chronic, relapsing neurobiological disorder caused by changes in the brain that make controlling drug use extremely difficult, even when an individual knows it has terrible consequences for his or her life and health and wants to stop. It goes well beyond willpower.

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This page last reviewed on January 11, 2017