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NCCIH Lecture: Dr. Alan Leshner on Communicating Science to the Public

Posted: 10/17/2017 ()

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) presents:

Communicating Science to the Public: Follow the Science

Alan I. Leshner, PhD, Chief Executive Officer Emeritus at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will speak about the need for engaging with the public about science and some of the lessons he’s learned, especially in communicating about controversial or contentious areas.

Thursday, October 19, 2017
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
Lipsett Auditorium, Bldg. 10, NIH main campus

This lecture is open to the public and will be available via NIH Videocast ( and Facebook Live. There is no registration required.

Lecture Summary

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.

In his talk, Dr. Leshner will discuss the need to communicate science to the public and why it is difficult, share effective (and ineffective) approaches for engaging the public around science and provide insight into the research base for science communication and the nature of unanswered questions.

About Dr. Leshner

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 PhD and MS degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University and an AB in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College. He has been awarded seven honorary Doctor of Science degrees.


Sign Language interpreters will be provided.  Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact  Afomeya Agonafer at or 301-435-6826 or via the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.

This lecture is part of the NCCIH Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series Р


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Date: 10/19/2017

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

Location: NIH main campus & Videocast