Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

The Real Science News Cycle (Comic and a Response)

From the 31 July 2011 blog posting at Science is Everyone’s Story

I forwarded this comic about science news to a journalist the other day. But then I took a second look at it.

At first glance, the process seems simple. A scientist unearths valuable, complex information. The university PR department simplifies it… and the story goes downhill. At the end, the scientist’s grandmother is wearing a hat to protect herself from his discovery.

The Science News Cycle: Ph.D. ComicsThe Science News Cycle. © Jorge Cham

After reading the comic, I realized I disagree with it. Often, in my experience, the process looks like this:

  1. The scientist’s grandmother already has an opinion.
  2. The scientist, publicist and reporters see their work as a one-way transfer of information. They don’t consider how audiences with preexisting opinions will respond to the story.
  3. The bloggers seek news that will confirm their preexisting views.
  4. The scientist’s grandmother shakes her head. Her belief has been reinforced. She goes online to buy a hat.
  5. At the end of the story, the scientist goes to ask a federal agency for funding. The agency leaders were appointed by politicians whom his grandmother elected. The scientist hopes the agency will make the right decision.
From the scientist’s point of view, the translation failed. From my perspective, the scientist and the publicist missed a chance to change the preexisting beliefs of their audiences. If there are misconceptions out there already, putting facts on the table may not be enough to change public perceptions of science.





August 9, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , | Leave a comment

Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated and Revised July 2011

The Competitive Intelligence Resource Guide was created for legal professionals.

However, this guide does have quite a few resources related to health and medicine in these and other areas…

July 22, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Research Matters (National Institutes of Health) – Medical Research News

National Institutes of Health: Research Matters

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest source of medical funding in the world.  Trying to locate and keep up with NIH research items can be overwhelming. Through the NIH Web site Research matters, one can find research related news items through a number of ways.

Here are some good starting points to locate NIH research news releases

  • News releases are arranged by date, most current date is at the top. Items include research results, events, lecture series, and seminar series. Some items have accompanying audio, video, and/or images.
    Want to subscribe to the news releases? There are RSS and email options.
  • Editor’s Picks area is in the right hand column of the home page.
  • The Multimedia area links to a page with NIH (24 hour) radio audio reports, podcasts, the NIH YouTube Channel
  • News in Health Newsletter with options for print subscription and email alerts
  • The search box in the upper right corner allows for both word and phrase searching.
    The search help link gives tips on how to search, including the use of AND and OR as well as complex searches (through the example –>   (stock OR market) AND NOT president)


December 18, 2010 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health News Items, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment


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