Environmental Factor, September 2011, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
SRP celebrates an important milestone
By Rebecca Wilson
In August, the Superfund Research Program (SRP) issued the 200th edition of the SRP Research Briefs(http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/researchbriefs/index.cfm). This issue celebrates nearly 15 years of disseminating cutting-edge scientific findings to researchers, regulators, educators, non-profit groups, and environmental and engineering firms across the globe.
According to SRP Program Analyst Beth Anderson, the Research Briefs began in 1997 and were inspired by a discussion with Samuel Wilson, M.D., who was the NIEHS deputy director at the time. The Briefs were aimed at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency remedial project managers and risk assessors as a way to share the results of the latest research across the program. Faced with a readership trained in everything from basic biomolecular research to mechanical engineering, the Briefs quickly adopted an informal style that makes even the most complex science accessible to everyone.
“The Research Briefs have been a resounding success with our stakeholders,” says Anderson. “They have been an effective tool in disseminating SRP research among those who do not traditionally follow the scientific literature.”
Over time, the readership of the Briefs has widened and grown, and now includes subscribers scattered across the globe. Today, there are subscribers from 54 countries, including environmental health officials from 35 federal agencies, 46 state agencies, and 12 local agencies; leaders of five Tribal governments; students, teachers, and researchers from 240 colleges and universities; members of 70 not-for-profit organizations; and employees and affiliates of 82 for-profit engineering and environmental firms.
Media distribution has also expanded. The format of the emails became more sophisticated and graphically intense, print-ready pdfs are now available for each Brief, and, recently, collaborators began adding podcasts. Research Briefs are available on the SRP website as individual web pages and pdfs as well as through iTunes (see Research Brief 198(http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/researchbriefs/view.cfm?Brief_ID=198)).
To subscribe to the Research Briefs, please send an email to NIEHS contractor Maureen Avakian(mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Subscribe%20to%20SRP%20Research%20Briefs). Collaborators are also always looking for ideas and feedback, which can be sent to the same email address.
(Rebecca Wilson is an environmental health information specialist with MDB, Inc., a contractor for the NIEHS Superfund Research Program and Worker Education and Training Program.)
Email feedback about Research Briefs
From subscriber Ted Schettler, M.D.(http://www.sehn.org/members.html) , science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network
“I can tell you that I regularly forward SRP research findings (your Research Briefs) to several fairly large listserves, reaching many different NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and individuals. This kind of summary is very useful and is much appreciated. I am entirely convinced that reaching community groups/diverse NGOs is essential for helping to develop sound public policy.”