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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU, VCU: How Scientists Can Influence Decision Makers

Strong science may not be enough to persuade policymakers to create change in public health, according to a new paper from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and Virginia Commonwealth University.



[Photo: Dr. Jason Purnell]

Bridging the disconnect between researchers and decision-makers requires four ingredients, according to the authors:

“These tenets do not remove behavioral roadblocks, but they may create a healthier environment for understanding and dialogue that can ultimately facilitate research translation,” wrote co-author Dr. Jason Purnell, assistant professor at the Brown School; lead author Dr. Steven Woolf, of the Center on Society and Health at VCU; and colleagues at the Brown School and VCU.

The article drew from the authors’ experiences leading two major projects: Dr. Purnell’s For the Sake of All, research aimed at improving the health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis; and Dr. Woolf’s Education and Health Initiative, which seeks to raise awareness about the health implications of education.

The article was published online January 12 in The Annual Review of Public Health.

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