CTSA 2013 Annual Face to Face: The Power of Storytelling

Hosted by: University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center (HSC) in cooperation with UNM’s Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC)

This year’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) communications key function committee (CKFC) Annual Face to Face  focused on the critical role of storytelling to lift research of out its silos to a wider audience.

Richard Larson, MD, PhD, UNM HSC Vice Chancellor for Research compared communicators to ambassadors of information – after all, “research ignored is research wasted.”

Purpose/Objectives of the Annual F2F:

  • Increase understanding and support of NCATS and NIH priorities
  • Improve awareness of CTSA value, dissemination of key information, and collaboration among key stakeholders across the consortium
  • Inspire CKFC members through new connections, skill building, clear direction, and storytelling

Here’s a selection of tweets by CTSA communicators during the two-day conference:

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Cigarette warning labels around the world

The FDA’s new cigarette warning labels have been getting a lot of buzz, underscoring the role of design in public health communication. The new designs take up half the cigarette pack, and 20% of the size of ads. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FDA estimates that the design will reduce the number of smokers by over 200,000 in the first year after launch, based on the impact of new warning labels in Canada.

Cigarette Health Warning ImagesCigarette Health Warning ImagesCigarette Health Warning ImagesCigarette Health Warning Images

There are a variety of approaches to tobacco packaging warnings, but bold graphic warnings are clearly the emerging international consensus. Here are some examples from around the world:

Cigarette warning labels


Click to see more…

Putting print books online

I’m a fan of the Hesperian Foundation, which publishes community-based healthcare books like Where There Is No Doctor. In addition to giving their books away at no or low cost, they’ve historically distributed gratis copies of their books in PDF format, chapter by chapter (example).

They’ve now set up a new online reading interface (vaguely similar to Google Books), but it’s Flash-based, and can’t be indexed via search engines. Is this an improvement?

Which of these online reading interfaces for print books do you like best?

(Update: fixed link)

The “green” font…

We’ve recently had discussions about the font of the VH site, changing it for readability etc.  And now, for another interesting take on fonts… the ‘green’ font.  From the AP, a recent news story from the UW – Green Bay.

UW-Green Bay: New e-mail font will save money

Associated Press
Updated: 03/25/2010 08:48:18 AM CDT

A Wisconsin college has found a new way to cut costs with e-mail — by changing the font.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has switched the default font on its e-mail system from Arial to Century Gothic. It says the change sounds minor, but it will save money on printer ink when students print out e-mails in the new font.

Diane Blohowiak, the school’s director of computing, says the new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one.

That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon.

Blohowiak says the decision is part of the school’s five-year plan to go green. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio it’s great that a change that’s eco-friendly also saves money.

I looked this up online and the story got picked up by several newspapers. Below a link to the story in the Washington Post — read the comments below the actual story.  Some funny analysis as to whether this really is green…


Mining your folders to learn more about expertise

From Bill at Indiana, an article in Technology Review on mining folders in your computer to track what you really do. This and similar efforts mining email always makes me nervous.

The article’s a summary of a human computer interaction conference session.

But mostly it reminded me that I’ve been dissapointed by the quality of information – the depth and, dare I say it ‘expertise’ – revealed in Tech Review articles. I think I cancelled the office subscription, but am open to alternatives…