Recently, while reading an editorial by William Roper in the journal Science,* I was struck by the fact that the health care industry, in the past two or three years, has been experiencing some of the same challenges our industry has had for the past 40 years. Roper opines on the situation that scientists and health care professionals have had to face in a country that is divided not only along political and ideological lines but also about what constitutes the facts. He goes on to highlight that many scientists think there is a need to get the politics out of public health, while many policymakers (who are frequently politicians) think scientists are not the best people to be making public policy decisions. He also notes that of late, “political leaders, media personalities, and ordinary citizens have proclaimed their own ‘alternative facts.’”
As much as I would like to say something like “join the boat”—our scientific community has had to deal with “alternative facts” for years—I would much rather say to the health care community that we can and should all be striving for the same thing: to help the thought leaders of our world understand that we can only succeed if we are all willing to be in the same boat, working together to fix the problem.