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Bridging the Research-to-Reporting Gap between What is Known about Health Issues and How this Knowledge is Disseminated by the News Media
Health and science illiteracy leads to poor individual choices, clinical practices and policy decisions. Large gaps between what researchers know about health issues, what journalists report and how this knowledge is used in practice perpetuate the perceived decline of public discourse on policy issues, levels of trust in science and the number of mechanisms to hold decision-makers accountable. As scientific knowledge continues to expand at unprecedented rates, helping people make sense of science is more important and urgent than ever before. Bridging this research-to-reporting gap requires a fundamental rethinking of how science and journalism should intersect. This study will determine and seek to implement best practices and solutions that help mitigate challenges found along the research-to-reporting pathway so that an improved state of health journalism can effectively leverage the best available health evidence by getting it into the hands of patients, practitioners and policymakers who can act upon it.
Compliance with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and Lessons for Future International Lawmaking
Despite the increase in calls for international laws on various health issues, there is little evidence demonstrating that international health laws achieve results commensurate with their significant costs, especially when compared to other policy options. Buoying these calls for new laws is the perceived success of past international health laws, most notably the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2002) and the International Health Regulations (2005). This study will use the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to examine the factors that influence state compliance, identify mechanisms that can be used to promote compliance with international law, and help further academic and policy discourse on whether, when and how international law should be used as a tool for achieving global health goals.
Learning from SARS and H1N1 to Strengthen Health System Governance, Information Sharing and International Cooperation during Health Emergencies
Billions of dollars are spent annually to prepare for the next pandemic, yet relatively few resources are invested in the health system governance arrangements needed to mount an appropriate response. In addition to antiviral medicines and vaccines, effective pandemic responses depend on governments and healthcare facilities to obtain, analyze, share and act upon the latest information and coordinate their actions with domestic and international partners. Effective health system arrangements for making tough decisions, sharing information and cooperating globally are particularly important during the initial days of a pandemic which are characterized by uncertainty, confusion, fear and extremely high-stakes. This study will analyze national, regional and global responses to SARS and H1N1 during their first 100 days so as to strengthen health system governance arrangements for future health emergencies.