Challenges in Communicating About Stem Cells

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room LL21A (San Jose Convention Center)
As stem cell research advances steadily, hope continues to mount for people with a range of conditions affecting the central nervous system, such as spinal cord injuries and neurodegenerative disorders. The anticipation is tangible but so is the growing impatience with the bench-to-bedside process that is fraught with the challenges of discovery, translation, commercialization, and communication. Among these challenges are the specific difficulties of rationalizing different perceptions of risk and maintaining patient-physician trust in the face of the pace and policies of stem cell innovation, never-ending news feeds, temptations of medical possibilities abroad, and the complexity of communicating scientific details and ethical features of clinical trials and therapy. This symposium will present new data and discuss solutions for each of these challenges. Speakers will propose innovative strategies for decision-making in the context of stem cell clinical trials and address new trajectories for the effective translation of evidence from stem cell research into clinical care and policy. Empirical results from recent studies of stem cell discourse on Twitter will be used to examine how this form of social media is offering exciting new opportunities for multidirectional engagement among all partners in the stem cell space.
Julie M. Robillard, University of British Columbia
Judy Illes, University of British Columbia
Judy Illes, University of British Columbia
Christopher T. Scott, Stanford University School of Medicine
Stem Cell Counselors: New Partners in Communicating About Clinical Research
Julie M. Robillard, University of British Columbia
Finally, We Can Grow Spines: Stem Cells on Twitter