A woman scientist looking through a camera on a boat and a separate image of a headshot of a woman with shoulder length brown hair and a gold necklace

Thursday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. PDT

For many scientists, professional credibility historically hinged on the appearance of objectivity about their work: They could comment on the scientific value of their discoveries and, in applied science fields, develop recommendations—but rarely did they share personal opinions about how it should inform policy decisions. Increasingly, though, scientists are using their knowledge to not only educate the public, but also advocate for relevant social and environmental justice movements.

In an hour-long panel discussion on Zoom Thursday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. PDT, members of the Northwest Science Writers Association (NSWA) heard from two scientists about navigating their relationship with their research in the real world: How they feel about increasing pressure and opportunity to be both public experts and advocates, the ethics around this, and what scientists’ broadening role in public discourse means for policy and reporting around their work.

Speakers include Dr. Deborah Giles, a research biologist specializing in orcas for the University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology, resident scientist for the UW Friday Harbor Labs, and science and research director for the nonprofit Wild Orca; and Dr. Rachel Bender Ignacio M.D., M.P.H., Medical Director of the COVID-19 Clinical Research Center at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an assistant professor at the UW Department of Medicine’s Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases.

Watch the recording of the webinar:

Not yet an NSWA member? Learn more and join here.