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Johns Hopkins-Pulitzer Center Symposium

Lost in Translation

As an expert source for the Netflix docuseries Afflicted, Center for Health Security senior scholar Amesh Adalja, MD, sat for a lengthy interview in 2017 with the filmmakers. He was one of several doctors, researchers and patients interviewed for the project, which followed a group of people suffering from obscure or undiagnosed chronic illnesses.

In the series, which debuted in August, Adalja’s 90-minute interview—in which he answered complex questions about the research and science associated with the patients’ conditions—was edited to less than 30 seconds.

Adalja told HuffPost it was unfortunate that the series didn’t strike more of a balance between hard science and sensational storytelling. “Something that’s more thoughtful doesn’t find the same types of audience numbers,” he said.

An Environmental Health and Engineering adjunct professor, Adalja will join other Bloomberg School faculty and award-winning journalists from NPR and Science magazine at the School on December 5 for the symposium “From Science to Story: Science Journalism in the Age of Fake News.”

The event, the sixth such collaboration between the School and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, will explore the challenges of communicating and translating complex ideas, methodologies and findings into accurate and engaging news stories.

The symposium will provide a forum for dialogue between public health professionals and journalists about the need for quality science reporting in a mediascape littered with misinformation.


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