‘Harassment Does Not Work Here,’ New Policy States

Dr. Frazier Benya (l) and Tom Rudin of NASEM
Dr. Frazier Benya (l) and Tom Rudin of NASEM

Just days before NIH rolled out a comprehensive effort to define and address workplace harassment in all its forms, representatives of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) presented findings and recommendations of a NASEM report on sexual harassment of women in science to a large and keenly interested Lipsett Amphitheater audience.

Sitting in the front row were NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, who opened the 2-hourplus session, and NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak, who chairs NIH’s intramural anti-harassment steering committee, and acting chief of staff Dr. Carrie Wolinetz.

“This is an incredibly important topic and lots of things are happening right now,” said Collins. “This has been on our minds for a long time. Sexual harassment is simply unacceptable.”

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TOUGH ON TOBACCO
Samet Recounts Progress Toward Eradicating Smoking

Dr. Jonathan Samet
Dr. Jonathan Samet

Decades of research on the health risks of cigarette smoking have really cleared the air, prompting a dramatic, steady decline in tobacco use. Yet despite the plethora of indisputable evidence, millions of Americans still smoke.

“With no smoking [allowed] indoors, you walk by bars and restaurants and outside…people, who are probably well educated, are smoking or they’re vaping. It’s amazing, isn’t it?” said Dr. Jonathan Samet, a pulmonary physician who is dean of the Colorado School of Public Health. He spoke recently in Natcher Bldg. at the fifth in a series of lectures celebrating NHLBI’s 70th anniversary.

Over the last century, adult cigarette consumption rose steadily, then began a consistent decline in the early 1960s, as successive studies linked cigarette smoking to heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, lung cancer and to rising mortality rates.

“I think critical in shaping those research directions has been NHLBI, in terms of this volume of science and targeting critical issues and making sure the right answers were coming forth,” said Samet. Progress was bolstered nearly 50 years ago when the lung division was added to what was then called the National Heart Institute.
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