Science Advocacy & Communications Seminar

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Scientists are often asked to explain their work to non-scientific audiences, making effective communication skills essential, particularly when translating complex concepts into lay-friendly language. Policy makers, the media, and the public have varying levels of scientific understanding, and researchers need to employ a variety of tactics to build support for evidence-based science, describe progress in the field, and highlight the impact of scientific discovery worldwide. Panelists in this seminar will talk about messages that resonate with policy makers, journalists, and the public, and how to share science with less technical audiences.

Sponsored by:

Sanford Center Logo 04-19-19
UC San Diego Stem Cell Program Logo 04-19-19


Wednesday, 26 June, 9:30-12:00

Admission to the Science Advocacy & Communication Seminar is included in your Annual Meeting registration.

Sally atOGR(2)



Bradley J. Fikes, Biotechnology reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune, USA
Fikes has been covering the industry since 1990, most recently for the North County Times. He also covers healthcare and the San Diego Zoo. His articles include topics such as the latest developments in stem cell treatments for disease, funding for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), FDA regulation of stem cells, and biomedicine. A native San Diegan, Fikes started in journalism at San Diego State University, where he served on the staff of the Daily Aztec student newspaper.

Larry Goldstein headshot

Larry Goldstein, PhD, Distinguished Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Scientific Director, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, USA 
In addition to running an active biomedical research lab for the past 35 years, Goldstein has devoted time and effort to educating members of the California and U.S. governments, and the local San Diego community, about the conduct and value of biomedical research. Topics have included therapy development, funding levels and practices, and research using controversial materials including embryonic stem cells and fetal tissue.


Meghana Keshavan, Biotechnology reporter, STAT, USA
Keshavan covers biotechnology industry trends for STAT. She has written about the life sciences industry for nearly four years: first at the San Diego Business Journal, and then at MedCityNews. Before that, she's worked for news outlets like Thomson Reuters, Crain's Detroit Business, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Metro Times, and NPR affiliate WDET. As a young lass, Meghana toiled five years as a research peon in a schizophrenia genetics lab. She once spilled ethidium bromide on herself and might be a mutant.


Paul Mandabach, President & Managing Partner, Mandabach Campaigns, USA
Mandabach has received national recognition for his work on major public policy issues, including a winning record in the ballot measure field, having consulted on nearly 200 campaigns in 29 states and in Europe and Asia. He and his firm directed statewide campaigns supporting stem cell research in California in 2004 and Missouri in 2006. Prior to entering the issue communications field, Paul began his career as a political and research analyst for Opinion Research of California and worked freelance on more than 20 candidate election campaigns.

Sean Morrison Headshot

Sean J. Morrison, PhDDirector, Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, USA
Morrison's laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cell function and the role these mechanisms play in cancer. Morrison served as president of the ISSCR and has been active in public policy issues surrounding stem cell research, testifying before the U.S. Congress, and serving as a leader in the successful "Proposal 2" campaign to protect and regulate stem cell research in Michigan's state constitution.


Steven Peckman, Deputy Director, UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center, USA
Peckman is responsible for all Center activities and personnel. He is also an expert on the ethical and legal conduct of stem cell and human subjects research and has been a consultant to HHS, NIH, FDA, CIRM, and the NAS. His publications include a paper for President Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC).


Jason Stewart, Director of Advocacy, Americans for Cures Foundation, USA
Stewart has spent more than a decade working on political and issue advocacy campaigns in both the U.S. and Australia. He trains patient advocates to speak in public awareness campaigns that highlight the importance of stem cell research and California’s landmark ballot initiative Proposition 71, which provided $3 billion dollars for research. Stewart previously worked for almost a decade with the Australian Labor Party as an adviser to elected officials, Cabinet members, and party leadership. In the U.S., Stewart was with the San Francisco-based political consulting firm 50+1 Strategies before moving into his current role.

Temple headshot high res

Sally Temple, PhD, Scientific Director, Principal Investigator and Co-Founder, Neural Stem Cell Institute, USA
Dr. Temple oversees scientific programs with the goal of understanding the role of neural stem cells in Central Nervous System (CNS) development, maintenance, and repair, from basic to translational projects. She served as president of the ISSCR. Temple's mother lost her vision to age-related macular degeneration, and it led her to work on combating this devastating, blinding neurodegenerative disease. She has been active in speaking with reporters and policy makers on issues affecting the field, and recently testified before the U.S. Congress on "Exploring Alternatives to Fetal Tissue Research."


Alan Trounson, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Monash University, Distinguished Scientist, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia
Trounson was a pioneer of human in vitro fertilization (IVF), and led the Australian team for the discovery of human embryonic stem cells in the late 1990s. Trounson was awarded the first Australian Biotechnology of Excellence and was founding CEO of the Australian Stem Cell Centre. He is past president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (2007-2014).