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Communicating Science to the Public: Follow the Science

Speaker: Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer Emeritus

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Date: October 19, 2017 - 11:00 a.m. ET

Lipsett Auditorium, NIH Building 10, Bethesda, Maryland

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Event Description

Public understanding of science benefits both the public and the scientific enterprise. However, communicating science to the public is an acquired, not innate, skill, and it is particularly difficult and complex in domains like complementary and integrative health. Fortunately, there is a growing body of scientific evidence about what works and does not that can be used to increase the effectiveness of science communication efforts. Dr. Leshner will speak both about the needs for engaging with the public about science and some of the lessons learned, especially in controversial or contentious areas.

This lecture will be streamed online at and on Facebook at

Speaker Bio

Alan I. Leshner is Chief Executive Officer Emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and former Executive Publisher of the Science family of journals. Before joining AAAS, Dr. Leshner was Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. He also served as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and in several roles at the National Science Foundation. Before joining the government, Dr. Leshner was Professor of Psychology at Bucknell University. Dr. Leshner is an elected fellow of AAAS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Public Administration, and many others. He is a member and served on the governing Council of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. He served two terms on the National Science Board, appointed first by President George W. Bush and then reappointed by President Barack Obama. Dr. Leshner received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University and an A.B. in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College. He has been awarded seven honorary Doctor of Science degrees.