I’ve recently become aware of – and hope to collaborate and share ideas with – a Canadian website called EvidenceNetwork.ca.
The founders describe this as “a non-partisan web-based project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Manitoba Health Research Council to make the latest evidence on controversial health policy issues available to the media. This site links journalists with health policy experts to provide access to credible, evidence-based information.”
It’s hosted at the University of Manitoba, and founded by Noralou P. Roos, CM, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Community Health Sciences there and by Sharon Manson Singer, PhD, adjunct professor of research at Carleton University.
They post articles on topics such as the following:
One of the project’s interns recently wrote a good summary of their work. Excerpt:
Having worked both in government and academic circles, Roos and Manson Singer often saw a disconnect between evidence on controversial health policy topics and how it was reported by journalists.
“As an academic, I was always reading the paper and thinking that doesn’t reflect what I know about the issue,’” Roos said.
The professor of Community Health Services at the University of Manitoba described reading several newspapers articles that seemed to promote myths and misconceptions about the future and sustainability of Canadian healthcare.
“Even though there is a lot of evidence out there, it is somehow never really communicated in a way which is understood,” Roos said.
The site offers journalists an impressive list of experts “chosen based on standing in the health policy research/academic community, publishing record, ability to communicate in lay language, the absence of partisan ties including political activity and lobbying affiliations. Some regional balance of experts is sought. The Evidence Network understands the time constraints that journalists labour under and has asked each of the experts to respond to media inquiries within a two hour timeframe, whenever possible.”
We, too, offer a list of industry-independent experts on HealthNewsReview.org – a list that has recently been and is currently still being updated. We may add some of EvidenceNetwork.ca’s experts to our list in coming weeks.