National Academies Award
Yesterday it was announced I’ve been selected for the National Academies Award for scientific communication, alongside some of my heroes.
This is one of the highest recognitions a scientist can receive in the United States. And I have been choked up. So deeply honored. So incredibly humbled. And just so…happy.
I have literally given my all the past 32 months to this newsletter. Through having a baby. Through threats to me and my family. Through missing holidays when new variants popped up. YLE was built on blood, sweat, tears, and a whole lot of love.
I’m also a little embarrassed. By definition, science communication is team work; it’s bidirectional. I learn from YOU. Your questions. Your feedback. Your frustrations. We are not getting out of this pandemic without an all-hands-on deck response and I am honored to play a small role. We are winning this award, not just me.
I’m also a little mad. Very few leaders and institutions step up to effectively process and distill information and listen so people can effectively navigate impossible times. It’s left to volunteers and a few amazing reporters to fill the gap. This needs to change.
I’m also ecstatic that science communication is finally being recognized, supported, and awarded as this is an inaugural cohort of winners. Communication is the key, people! To build trust, to build relationships, to improve health…our field needs to communicate. Be first. Be right. Be credible. Express empathy. Promote action. Show respect. And say “we don’t know” more.
Huge congratulations to the other winners, these folks continue to inspire me. Next month we will all be traveling to DC for the award ceremony. I cannot wait to bring my date— my 92 year old grandpa and biggest fan— to celebrate.
Cheers, Katelyn (YLE)
“Your Local Epidemiologist (YLE)” is written by Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, MPH PhD—an epidemiologist, data scientists, wife, and mom of two little girls. During the day she works at a nonpartisan health policy think tank, and at night she writes this newsletter. Her main goal is to “translate” the ever-evolving public health science so that people will be well equipped to make evidence-based decisions. This newsletter is free thanks to the generous support of fellow YLE community members. To support this effort, subscribe below: