Making Data Talk: Communicating Public Health Data to the Public, Policy Makers, and the Press

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Oxford University Press, 2009 - Medical - 321 pages
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The demand for health information continues to increase, but the ability of health professionals to provide it clearly remains variable. The aim of this book is (1) to summarize and synthesize research on the selection and presentation of data pertinent to public health, and (2) to provide practical suggestions, based on this research summary and synthesis, on how scientists and other public health practitioners can better communicate data to the public, policy makers, and the press in typical real-world situations. Because communication is complex and no one approach works for all audiences, the authors emphasize how to communicate data "better" (and in some instances, contrast this with how to communicate data "worse"), rather than attempting a cookbook approach. The book contains a wealth of case studies and other examples to illustrate major points, and actual situations whenever possible. Key principles and recommendations are summarized at the end of each chapter.

This book will stimulate interest among public health practitioners, scholars, and students to more seriously consider ways they can understand and improve communication about data and other types of scientific information with the public, policy makers, and the press. Improved data communication will increase the chances that evidence-based scientific findings can play a greater role in improving the public's health.

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Communication Fundamentals
Overcoming General Audience Tendencies and Biases to Enhance Lay Understanding of Data

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About the author (2009)

David Nelson is a Senior Scientific Advisor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bradford Hesse is a Senior Study Director at Westat. Robert Croyle is Acting Director at the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute.

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