“This week…we threw the scientists under the bus”

Note: As always, this post is my own opinion and does not necessarily represent the opinion of my employer

As I was watching Meet the Press this Sunday, I caught a great quote from NBC’s Nancy Snyderman.  Starting at around 06:12 of this clip,  she sum’s up what I’ve been feeling this week:

nbc-meet-the-press-panel-examines-cancer-screening-confusion#s-p1-so-i0

“This task force did not look at the economics.  Their job was to look at the pure science. And I think in some ways we hear from the scientists, don’t like the message, and this week I believe we threw the scientists under the bus.  We in this country have three hot button scientific issues.  We have stem cells, vaccines, cancer screening.  We need to step back as a society and let the scientists present their data and then, as an informed populace, look at it, talk about it.  And what happened on Monday was that the headlines then ran with the weak…

“…instead of intelligent people saying, ‘OK, what does this mean and how do we mean it’ And the task force basically said to women in their 40s, individualize yourselves, talk to your doctor.  This is all about, and I think Nancy and I agree on this, better technology.”

The science says what the science says, and in this case, it wasn’t popular.  I don’t know that I agree with the new guidelines in terms of the public health message they put out, but I do believe that the time has come for greater discussion about the merits of mammography, and the need for improved technology in this area.  That discussion seems to be getting lost in the discussion, and I am glad that Dr. Snyderman brought it up.

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New project at NCI

I’ve been so wrapped up in the new blog I’ve been creating at work, that I haven’t been able to post for a bit.  I’ve got a few drafts going though, so I should have new content shortly.  In the meantime, check out the other weblog I manage at http://benchmarks.cancer.gov.  It’s an example of a government site run on the wordpress.org platform. There’s also a YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/NCInews.  Did you know that YouTube offers free branding to government sites?  Or at least, I think they do.  I haven’t been able to find official confirmation of this, but I registered that channel using a .gov email address, and one day noticed that I had “Branding Options” which I hadn’t noticed before.  Branding Options usually cost thousands of dollars, from what I understand, but I had it free.  I saw a blogger say he was told that branding was now free for  government YouTube channels, but as I said, I haven’t seen anything official.  If you have seen official word, let me know in the comments.

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Utilizing Social Media

A while ago I did a presentation for the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance on utilization of traditional and social media as it relates to media relations professionals.  Since then, I’ve received a few requests for the slides, so I decided to post them here:

If you have questions, feel free to submit them via the comments.