Bringing Science (and Scientists) to Center Stage: Opportunities and Challenges to Shape the Public Discourse on the COVID-19 Epidemic

June 09, 2020
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

How can we create a more scientifically-informed, balanced and thoughtful narrative around COVID-19?

Bringing Science (and Scientists) to Center Stage: Opportunities and Challenges to Shape the Public Discourse on the COVID-19 Epidemic, an afternoon-long workshop for members of the WashU community, will explore the importance of scientific voices in the COVID-19 response.

Join us for a fireside chat with featured guest Craig Spencer, MD followed by presentations from WashU experts currently active in the response to COVID-19. These experts will offer a brief overview of their experiences with COVID-19 as it relates to the topics of public health, mental health, racial disparities, economics and policy, data, and older adults and ageism. Attendees will then have the opportunity to join a small-group discussion on one of these topics.

Participants can expect to learn different disciplinary approaches toward discussion about COVID-19, which will hopefully encourage meaningful and productive conversations.

This meeting is open to members of the Washington University community and will take place virtually via Zoom. Please register to receive the meeting link to attend remotely.


This agenda is tentative and subject to change.

1:00pm    Welcome from Jessi Gold, MD and Beth Prusaczyk, PhD

1:10pm     Fireside chat with Craig Spencer, MD
 Moderated by Jessi Gold, MD

1:45pm     Presentations from WashU experts

3:15pm     Small group discussions with experts

4:00pm    Event close

Featured Guest

Craig Spencer, MD, MPH
Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Population and Family Health, Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Spencer divides his time between providing clinical care in New York, teaching graduate students in the Program on Forced Migration and Health, and working internationally in public health and humanitarian response. He has worked in Africa and Southeast Asia as a field epidemiologist on numerous projects examining access to medical care and human rights, including measuring mortality and maternal health in Burundi, child separation in emergencies in D.R. Congo and South Sudan, hepatitis E surveillance response program in Chad, and coordinating Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) national epidemiological response in Guinea during the Ebola outbreak. In addition to his international public health work, Craig has provided medical care in the Caribbean, Central America, West and East Africa, and most recently abroad onboard an MSF medical search and rescue boat in the Mediterranean. His current research focuses on mortality and human rights violations amongst migrants in the Sahel. In 2019, he was elected to the Board of Directors for Doctors Without Borders USA.

Washu Presenters

  • Elvin Geng, MD, MPH
    Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine
    Director, Center for Dissemination & Implementation
  • Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, MSW
    Bettie Bofinger Brown Distinguished Professor of Social Policy, Brown School
    Director of the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging
  • Jessi Gold, MD, MS
    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • LJ Punch, MD
    Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery, School of Medicine
  • Abby Barker, PhD
    Research Assistant Professor, Brown School
    Faculty Lead for Data and Methods, Center for Health Economics & Policy
  • Randi Foraker, PhD, MA
    Associate Professor, School of Medicine
    Director, Public Health Data & Training Center
    Faculty Lead, Population Health Informatics, Institute for Informatics

Event Sponsors: Center for Dissemination and Implementation at the Institute for Public Health