PR View by Paul Oestreicher, PhD

Share this article:
CNN's sacking of some of its most experienced science journalists and producers could not come at a worse time. We are in desperate need of another science boom and greater public understanding and support will surely help propel the effort forward. Our healthcare, our environment, our energy needs and our economy all depend on it. 

Thirty years ago, the US ranked third among developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving degrees in science or engineering. Now, we stand in 17th place. Only about 10% of the US population knows what a molecule is and about half can define the purpose of DNA. So, we need more interest and investment, not less. We need more people informed, involved and inspired. 

Beyond the issue of competitiveness, there is consumer health and safety. Indeed, there is worry that a growing number of patients are not taking their medication because of inaccurate or sensationalized reporting on adverse drug reactions. Enhancing science literacy will create a more engaged, more rational health consuming public. To help accomplish this, we need to increase, not chop, the number of knowledgeable professionals sifting through the ballooning mass of information who can ask good questions, provide context and perspective, and differentiate the myths and the facts. 

Other news outlets are cutting back, too. I know the economy is tough. Even so, CNN, please reconsider.

Paul Oestreicher, PhD is president of Oestreicher Communications and adjunct professor at NYU
Share this article:

Email Newsletters

More in Features

Leadership Exchange: How Do We Get Beyond the Pill?

Leadership Exchange: How Do We Get Beyond the ...

As its focus moves from manufacturing to service, pharma needs to partner with healthcare neophytes as well as established players. James Chase asks six experts to assess the risks and ...

FDA and off-label uses: a balancing act

FDA and off-label uses: a balancing act

FDA's current re-examination of its off-label promotion policies in light of the First Amendment is a delicate balancing act between its rock-solid traditional enforcement posture and a diverse new electronic ...

Read the complete August 2014 Digital Edition

Read the complete August 2014 Digital Edition

Click the above link to access the complete Digital Edition of the August 2014 issue of MM&M, with all text, charts and pictures.