COVID-19 Has Challenged Us in Every Aspect of Life

For millions of Americans, the pandemic has led to the death of a loved one, disruption to the economy, and the loss of a sense of control and normalcy.
It has also brought greater attention to the role of science in society.

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“We haven’t seen anything like this in over 100 years.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Vaccine development, therapeutics, and epidemiology are new topics of conversation in the public square. In the months leading up to the pandemic, the Pew Research Center measured the level of trust in science and scientists. Studies have revealed strong support for government investment in science from around the globe.

Yet when Americans were asked whether they trust scientists to do what is right for the public, only 38% answered “a lot.”

Do American's Trust Scientists?

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Raising Public Confidence in Science Is a Critical Challenge


Sudip Parikh

“A scientific endeavor that’s not trusted by the public cannot adequately contribute to society.”

Sudip Parikh, CEO American Association for the Advancement of Science
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Why We Must Rebuild Trust in Science

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A scientific endeavor that is not trusted by the public cannot adequately contribute to society.

Public trust in science improves when scientists connect with the communities they serve.

“Strong communication is an essential part of what it means to be a scientist.”

Laura Lindenfield, Executive Director Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science
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How to Build Community and Trust in Science

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Biochemist Sudip Parikh leads the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the nation’s oldest institutions, with the mission of advancing science and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.

Confidence in Science Also Comes With the Understanding That It Is Constantly Evolving


Ira Flatow

“Science is not a static thing; it’s a moving target of history.”

Ira Flatow, Journalist and Host Science Friday

What Makes Science, Well, Science?

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Fortunately, Scientists Are Moving Forward at a Faster Pace


Effective COVID-19 vaccines and other measures are already addressing the pandemic’s effects on public health, enhancing economic recovery for communities.


Misinformation and the Coronavirus Vaccines

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Pamela Bjorkman
Pamela Bjorkman
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Pamela Bjorkman on Vaccine Development

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Pamela Bjorkman on Vaccine Development

Biochemist Pamela Bjorkman, a 1989 Pew biomedical scholar, runs a lab at the California Institute of Technology. In response to the global pandemic, she has shifted her work from the study of HIV to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that can result in COVID-19.

And this research has accelerated because of increased support, collaboration, and attention. But once the pandemic is behind us, can we keep it up?


Esther Krofah

“For all of our successes, the pace is too slow for too many patients.”

Esther Krofah, Executive Director fasterCures, Milken Institute

30 YEARS: The estimated time it takes to move a new idea in biomedical science from the lab bench to the bedside.


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Although we don’t know what the future holds, one thing is certain: science will continue to inform policy solutions.

6 out of 10 Americans say scientists should take an active role in policy debates about scientific issues.


The Science of Policy

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When Society Aims to Solve Challenges Based on Rigorous Science and Public Trust, We’ll Build a Healthier Future for Generations to Come