Throughout history, periodic outbreaks of infectious disease have spread rapidly through human populations, becoming national and international pandemics. The most recent example is the Ebola outbreak of 2014. The public reaction to such events can influence both the response and the outcome. The media play an important role in disseminating information when such an outbreak occurs. Accurate reporting and perceptions depend on the scientific literacy of the media as well as the ability of scientists and health care professionals to communicate clearly. In addition to influencing immediate actions, public opinion can motivate political responses and policy changes.
Baker Institute experts recently explored these topics from the viewpoints of the scientific community, the media and the public. Scroll down to view the photo gallery and watch the webcast of the discussion.
This event, also a part of the Shell Distinguished Lecture Series, was sponsored by the Baker Institute's Science and Technology Policy Program and Health Policy Forum, the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and Rice Empower.
Support for the Civic Scientist Program is generously provided by Shell Oil Company and Winifer and Benjamin Cheng.
Noon — Lunch
12:30 p.m. — Presentation
Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.
Fellow in Disease and Poverty, Baker Institute
Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics, Texas Children's Hospital
President, Sabin Vaccine Institute
Nonresident Fellow in Science and Technology Policy, Baker Institute
Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
Welcome and Introduction
Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Ph.D.
Fellow in Science and Technology Policy, Baker Institute
President, Rice Empower