NHC Joins Leading National Organizations in Effort to Curb Health and Science Misinformation

By: Jennifer Schleman, Senior Vice President, Communications & Governance

Last month, the National Health Council joined 50 leading national organizations to form the Coalition for Trust in Health & Science, which launched at the 2023 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

The partnership aims to achieve a measurable increase in the public’s willingness – and ability – to access evidence-based information necessary to make the best personally appropriate health decisions for themselves, their families, and the communities in which they live and work. Enhancing the perception and reality of the trustworthiness of the health and medical system is a key element of this goal.

“The United States is experiencing a tidal wave of misinformation and disinformation, which has real-world health impacts, such as preventable misery and deaths, and is escalating already dangerously high levels of mistrust and distrust in healthcare, public health and science,” said Reed Tuckson, M.D., convener of the Coalition for Trust in Health & Science. “Addressing this infodemic is fundamental to the values of the Coalition’s members and, together, we can and will make a positive impact on the health of individuals and the nation.”

With an increasing amount of information available through countless sources, the Coalition’s focus is to help American navigate what health information is science-based and to correct misinformation and counter disinformation that decrease trust in health, health care, public health, and science.

“For this effort to succeed, scientists and health professional need to refute misinformation in ways that are easy for the general public to understand by not using complex medical terminology and jargon,” said Randall Rutta, Chief Executive Officer of the NHC.

At its launch, the alliance was comprised of 50 national organizations representing basic and applied science organizations; health academicians; health services researchers; pharmaceutical manufacturers; physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other professional disciplines; public health professionals; health insurers; health regulators; ethicists; health humanists; foundations; health consumer organizations; and health consulting, policy and communications organizations.

Members share the Coalition’s vision that “All people have equitable access to and confidence in the accurate, understandable and relevant information necessary to make personally appropriate health decisions.” Additionally, members, including the NHC, have pledged to 1) Support efforts to advance people’s scientific and health literacy, earn public trust and improve health outcomes and health equity, and 2) Work individually and collectively to correct misinformation and counter disinformation that threatens people’s health and well-being.

For more information on the Coalition for Trust in Health & Science, visit https://trustinhealthandscience.org/.