Cancer Communication Research Center

The promise of Strategic Science


This past week we had the opportunity to interact with a distinguished guest at the Institute for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Colorado (the home base for our Cancer Communication Research Center).

Dr. Kelly Brownell - the director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and the James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale University has led a number of successful research efforts that led to substantial social and policy action including changes in labeling of foods in restaurants in New York and work around sugary beverages.

When describing the main ingredient of their success - he highlighted the importance of engaging in policy-driven strategic science instead of the more commonly practiced research-driven programmatic science.  His work can be characterized as proactive, forward thinking, at times risky, practically relevant, and informed by key stakeholders (i.e., legislators). The design of his research studies reflect his creative thinking process and often involve policy and media analysis and simple but clever observational studies. The results from these studies are communicated in ways that are relevant and easy to use for social and policy action.

His Center's website ( hosts a number of excellent resources and examples for strategic science including a revenue calculator for sugar sweetened beverage taxes ( 

Borsika Rabin
Staff Researcher/Research Coordinator

Written by CCRC at 11:11




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