Science is your brand

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Demand for greater transparancy from industry and scientists is a theme that's been mentioned more than once this week. Today's Scientific Communications Trends & Liabilities session provided a diverse panel of speakers, from open source publishers to Public Relations professionals. Natalie de Vane, VP of Public Relations for Wyeth Research reminded the audience that science is your brand, and that all stakeholders need to understand what you do as they will be the key to influencing your long term success. Interest in medicine and medical products is very strong and attracts a lot of media coverage and scrutiny. Remember media are a conduit to spreading your information to the public. Science communication is not easy - it's a complex topic, debates can be easily overblown and misunderstandings can be damaging. Reflecting what some other speakers have said, Ms de Vane warns that it's hard to fix a problem once it's happened - do everything you can to make your science easy to understand - and watch out for your competitor's issues too as their troubles can affect you too (same class drugs being a particularly clear example). Her final advice? Be transparant in your communications and focus on the facts.