Communicating Reproductive Science to a Doubtful World: Oncofertility as a Case Study
In generating a communication strategy for The Oncofertility Consortium, we used three general guiding principles; presented here as tactics that may have value in other areas of our field. First, technology implementation and delivery is a collaboration between people, ideas, the message and infrastructure. Secondly, methods and tactics should match the need. Third, creation of a robust, interdisciplinary intellectual environment depends upon establishment of a common language between scientists, clinicians,scholars, patients and practitioners. While the needs and expectations of the medical enterprise (patient and provider), research enterprise and community-facing activities vary greatly, the tactics and methods below were integrated into a seamless product that provides value to the field. Investments of intellectual time and tangible dollars in this kind of work is paramount to increasing the pace, quality and reach of the work. If we,as a field, limit our research to publications in Biology of Reproduction, we will only reach a limited audience. If we wish to ensure translations of our work and ideas to the clinical setting, and if we wish to engage the public in the work that is supported by taxpayer dollars, new tactics are required. The following is a short description of the ways in which these concepts were put into practice in the development of the Oncofertility Consortium and the National Physicians Cooperative (NPC), the scientists and the practitioners providing fertility options to young cancer patients, respectively. The purpose of this editorial is to provide food for thought on how other reproductive science endeavors can be catalyzed by integrating technology into their work.