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A media day for journalists reporting on science, health, and medicine.

Media Day:
A Q & A with Experts for Journalists Reporting on Science, Health, and Medicine

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

At Phoenix Zones Initiative’s Media Day, journalists were able to get new information and perspectives to help take their science, health, and medical reporting to the next level.

This event gave journalists exclusive access to a panel of medical experts and a fellow journalist to discuss challenges in reporting on the ethics and science of medical research, including the use of animals in research.

Our panel of experts discussed

  • The nuances of the science and ethics of medical research
  • Overcoming challenges that arise when covering the ethics and science of medical research
  • Audience-accessible solutions, such as successful new evidence-based approaches

About Our Panelists

Dr. Hope Ferdowsian

Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, Professor, University of New Mexico School of Medicine; Co-founder and President, Phoenix Zones Initiative

Hope Ferdowsian is a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, president and CEO of Phoenix Zones Initiative, author of Phoenix Zones: Where Strength Is Born and Resilience Lives, and an expert in research ethics and research policy.

Over two decades, as a double board-certified internal medicine and preventive medicine physician, she has cared for vulnerable individuals and populations, and she has worked on public policies to address structural inequities, abuse, and exploitation. She has also led efforts to extend certain human research protections to animals.

Dr. Ferdowsian’s work across six continents has included collaboration with the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States and the development of medical, public health, and educational resources for nongovernmental organizations, national governments, and intergovernmental organizations.

Her work has been featured by Scientific American, HuffPo, the BBC, Voice of America, and other international media outlets. In 2017, she was named a Humanitarian of the Year in the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Rob Svatek

Dr. Rob Svatek, Professor and Chair, Department of Urology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Rob Svatek is Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He completed his urology residency training at the University of Texas Southwestern, urologic oncology training at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Master of Science in Clinical Research Investigation at the UT Health Science Center Houston.

Dr. Svatek’s clinical practice is devoted to the care of patients suffering from urinary bladder cancer. He is an active clinical researcher and runs an NIH-funded cancer immunology laboratory. His rich experience in laboratory and clinical investigation led him to the desire to improve existing research standards with the aim to deliver greater benefit within an equitable and ethical framework. Toward this goal, he recently initiated formalized training in Bioethics at Loyola University.

Dr. Ingrid Taylor

Dr. Ingrid L. Taylor, Veterinarian and Writer

Ingrid L. Taylor is an award-winning writer and poet. As a veterinarian, she has worked in clinical and emergency practice, research, public health, and animal advocacy, and has consulted on many animal abuse cases. Her writing has appeared in Sentient MediaFeminist Food Journal, HuffPost, and others.

Brandon Keim

Brandon Keim, Independent Journalist

Brandon Keim is an independent journalist specializing in animals, nature, and science.  His work has appeared in publications including The New York TimesThe Atlantic, and National Geographic, and he edits the Ocean section at Nautilus Magazine.

Presently, he is working on Meet the Neighbors, a book about what animal personhood—knowing them as thinking, feeling beings—means for our relationships to wild animals and to nature. It will be published by W.W. Norton in 2024.

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