A model for driving increases in state and national government funding?

Sponsored by the ISSCR, the Americans for Cures Foundation, and the University of Southern California Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.

Download the flyer (PDF).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Vancouver Convention Centre, West Meeting Room 202 - 204
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

With Proposition 71 funding due to exhaust by early 2017, Californians will likely once again have a chance to approve a new $5 billion bond measure to continue funding stem cell research. However, the public has been left in the dark on the great progress of stem cell research.

How can we educate civil society about the need to continue this critical funding? What lessons can be learned from the successful Proposition 71 campaign in 2004? What is the role of scientists?

Dr. Irv Weissman (Director, Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine),  Dr. Larry Goldstein (Director, UC San Diego Stem Cell Program), Dr. Jan Nolta (Director, UC Davis Stem Cell Program and Institute for Regenerative Cures), Dr. Andy McMahon (Director, Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC), Arnold Kriegstein (Director, UC San Francisco Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research), Alan Trounson (Former Chairman of CIRM) and Robert N. Klein, (Former Chairman of CIRM and Author of Proposition 71), invite you to join us as we learn from Proposition 71 leadership and national experts presenting successful and proven communications techniques and digital engagement tactics for scientists and other knowledgeable colleagues to educate the public at large, and to explain stem cell science and medicine to people who do not have formal scientific training.  These approaches for how scientists educate, motivate, and mobilize their communities around this issue can be applied to another California bond measure, in other US States, and throughout the world.


9:00 – 9:20 a.m. Introductory Remarks: What are the lessons learned about public engagement from Proposition 71? How can they be applied in the future?
Presenter: Robert N. Klein, Former Chairman of CIRM & Author of Proposition 71
In 2004, 59% of Californian voters supported Proposition 71, and the over 7 million voters set a record (along with Senator Diane Feinstein) for the highest vote count for any state ballot candidate or ballot measure in US history. This came only months after Californians voted to approve $15 billion in bonds to keep the State solvent. Why did California voters approve Proposition 71? Bob Klein, will review the organization, messaging, and preparation that made Proposition 71 successful, and its application to future California bond measures, as well as to other states and countries.
9:20 – 10:20 a.m. Messages from scientists to educate, motivate, and mobilize civil society to support major new funding
Presenter: Stephen R. Allen, Proposition 71 Communications Consultant; Principal at Salient Point Communications & Strategic Analysis
When speaking about their work, scientists are tasked with the difficult challenge of translating stem cell research breakthroughs into easily understood messages for the public. Steve Allen, of Salient Point Communications, will present best practices, tips, and tactics from his more than 20 years of experience for how to speak about science and public policy to the public and to the media. He will also focus on crisis communications to prepare for adverse events that might occur during human clinical trials.
10:20 – 10:35 a.m. Discussion
Moderator: Stephen Allen
10:35 – 10:50 a.m. 15-minute Break
10:50 – 11:25 a.m. Social media: A powerful communications tool for scientists to educate, motivate, and mobilize civil society to support major new funding
Presenter: David Kornaherns, Social media and organizing consultant at
With 80% of all science writer jobs being eliminated from traditional media, there is a lack of reporting about science and medical research.  In 2004, Prop 71’s social media generated 3 million affinity group emails in state, and 3 million out of state, in just the last 10 days of the campaign.  At the same time, social media has emerged as the public’s preferred source of news and offers a more direct channel to educate the public.  David Kornaherns will present on cutting edge best practices for effectively utilizing social media, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other new social software.
11:25 – 11:45 a.m. Public/private media role of scientists to mobilize civil society
Presenter: Dr. Larry Goldstein, Distinguished Professor, Dept of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Dept of Neurosciences; Director, UC San Diego Stem Cell Program; Scientific Director, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine; Director, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center UCSD School of Medicine; Member of the Proposition 71 Science Advisory Board
During the Proposition 71 campaign, scientists took a very public leadership role in educating voters about the ballot initiative and stem cell research. From public and private speaking engagements to press conferences to debates to TV advertising, scientists, along with patient advocates, became trusted voices for the public and provided a critical face to the stem cell research issue. Dr. Larry Goldstein, who was a member of the Proposition 71 Science Advisory Board, will present on that experience and how to incorporate public engagement into every scientist’s routine.