Loading Events


Nov 2021 04
Time: 12:00 PM

Rebuilding 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 will host a 2-part webinar series focusing on rebuilding public trust in evidence-based health and biomedical research. The first webinar in the series will focus on exploring the factors that influence levels of public trust in health and biomedical research and evidence. The discussion will identify dimensions of distrust and surface key barriers to achieving public trust and improving the uptake of reliable information and seek to answer the following questions:

  • What are the origins of distrust in health and biomedical research community and the longstanding societal/cultural, regulatory, and organizational challenges to building trust in the scientific process?
  • What are the consequences that arise when there is a lack of trust in this research?
  • How have political trends and the increasing usage of social media technology to spread misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated feelings of distrust toward the health and biomedical research sectors?
  • How has a need for balance between scientific integrity and speed of product development contributed to distrust in scientific guidance?
  • What conditions and strategies are needed to establish a strong foundation of transparency and trust?
  • What are promising examples of fostering trust in communicating and disseminating scientific evidence in a neutral and objective manner?

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 Distrust in Biomedical Research

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

Moderator: Richard Kuntz, Medtronic

  • Cary Funk, Pew Research
  • Sandra Quinn, University of Maryland School of Public Health

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

This session will build on the preceding session to examine how the balance between scientific integrity and speed of product development have contributed to public distrust, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderator: Richard Platt, Harvard University

  • Lisa Fitzpatrick, Grapevine Health
  • Jorge Hechavarria, Johnson & Johnson

Reactors: Gwen Darien, National Patient Advocate Foundation

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
  • Jeremy Greene, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Jay van Bavel, New York University

Reactors: Katherine Ognyanova, Rutgers University; Wendy C. King, University of Pittsburgh

2:30 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.

Moderator: Richard Platt, Harvard University

  • Q&A

 3:30 pm ET | Call to Action

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

  • Collaborative Co-Chairs

4:30 pm | Adjourn

  • Michael McGinnis, National Academy of Medicine


Questions? Email program@nas.edu

Join Our Community

Sign up for NAM email updates