Loading Events


Stewarding Public Trust in Biomedical Science and Research

Workshop Date and Time:  November 4, 2021 | 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET

Where: Via webinar

The NAM’s Leadership Consortium Evidence Mobilization Action Collaborative hosted a webinar focusing on stewarding public trust in health research. This webinar focused on exploring the factors that influence levels of public trust in health and biomedical research and evidence. The discussion identified dimensions of distrust and surfaced key barriers to achieving public trust and improving the uptake of reliable information and sought to answer the following questions:

1. Profile: What are the characteristics and origins of public distrust in health research?
2. Trends: What have been the correlates and trends for increasing distrust in health research?
3. Consequences: What are the near and long-term potential consequences?
4. Role of cadence: What is the role of speed and sense of urgency?
5. Role of capacity: What is the nature and importance of transparency in the research process?
6. Strategies: What trust-enhancing strategies have been suggested?

This work builds on the Leadership Consortium’s over-arching goal of advancing a learning health system by bolstering public confidence in empirical methods necessary for a continuously improving health system.


12:00 pm ET | Welcome & Introductory Comments 

Welcome from the National Academy of Medicine & Opening remarks and meeting overview by Collaborative Co-chairs 

  • Michael McGinnis, National Academy of Medicine
  • Richard Kuntz, Medtronic
  • Richard Platt, Harvard University

 12:15 pm ET | Overview of Trust and Distrust in Biomedical Research

This session will provide a broad overview of the elements contributing to public trust and distrust in biomedical science and evidence across diverse demographic and background characteristics.

Moderator: Richard Kuntz, Medtronic

  • Cary Funk, Pew Research
  • Sudip Parikh, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Sandra Quinn, University of Maryland School of Public Health


1:00 pm ET | Transparency, Independence, and Speed in Science

This session will build on the preceding session to examine how scientific integrity and innovation have contributed to levels of trust, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic

Moderator: Richard Platt, Harvard University

  • Ramona Burress, Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
  • Lisa Fitzpatrick, Grapevine Health


Reactors: Gwen Darien, National Patient Advocate Foundation; Joseph Ross, The Yale Open Data Access Project

1:45 pm ET | Society, Science, and Social Media

This session will break down power structures and dissect political trends prevalent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that have posed as barriers to public trust. Speakers will also examine the increasing and misinformed use of social media as a barrier to effectively and efficiently communicate scientific evidence. 

Moderator: Richard Kuntz, Medtronic

  • Robin Vanderpool, National Cancer Institute
  • Jay van Bavel, New York University
  • Katherine Ognyanova, Rutgers University
  • Jeremy Greene, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Reactors: Wendy C. King, University of Pittsburgh; Tara Haelle, Independent Science Journalist


2:45 pm ET | Strategies & Solutions for Closing the Trust Gap

Meeting panelists will reconvene to share key takeaways from this meeting and engage in a discussion on lessons learned and potential solutions moving forward to promote trust across the barriers presented.

  • Richard Kuntz, Medtronic
  • Richard Platt, Harvard University


 3:30 pm ET | Stewarding Action

Concluding observations, insights on next steps, and final thanks to all invited speakers and reactors.

  • Richard Kuntz, Medtronic
  • Richard Platt, Harvard University

4:30 pm | Adjourn

  • Michael McGinnis, National Academy of Medicine

Questions? Email leadershipconsortium@nas.edu.

Join Our Community

Sign up for NAM email updates