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Science Museum Exhibit Enters Final Stage of Development

Two years ago, the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) — in collaboration with experts in the design of museum exhibits for children and young adults — began developing educational content and design elements for a new travelling science museum exhibit that will present the clinical research process through the eyes of study volunteers.

CISCRP’s plan is for the science museum exhibit to occupy a 1,000 square foot area with 10 stations offering interactivity, problem solving and experiential learning.  The museum exhibit will travel to 12 cities over the course of three years.  In that time, the science museum exhibit will receive local and national media attention, support from the local clinical research community.

Two primary and powerful messages are central to the Medical Heroes science museum exhibit: (1) Study volunteers play a critical and essential role as partners in the clinical research process helping to advance public heath and medical knowledge; and (2) each one of us may face the decision to participate at some point in our lives and it is important to know the facts and to make informed decisions.  To support these two messages, the exhibit will focus on four main areas:  Meeting real study volunteers through photos, quotes, videos, and social media dialogue, and occasionally in person; Being a volunteer through making decisions about participation and through participating in a simple clinical trial; Learning about the impact of participation through multimedia presentations connecting well-known and relevant medical interventions with the people who gave the gift of participation to bring those interventions to market; and Recognizing and Appreciating Participation through the act of sending personal words of thanks.

Based on statistics from the American Alliance of Museums, CISCRP estimates that the 12-city tour has the potential to attract up to 1.1 million visitors.  Children, young adults and their families will influence others including their grandparents, other family members and friends. And through local media coverage and coordination with local research centers, health officials, and with health and science curricula in the school systems, an estimated 20 million people will be reached.

This past April, CISCRP met with representatives from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the National Health Council; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturer’s Association (PhRMA); the National Medical Association (NMA); the Society of Women’s Health Research; and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to unveil and discuss the draft design elements.

Between September and December 2014, CISCRP will be reaching out to stakeholders throughout the clinical research enterprise to solicit financial support.  In total, CISCRP hopes to raise approximately a million dollars. If you are interested in making a donation, please click here.  CISCRP has already received funding from a number of organizations including Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer, INC, ACRP and ACRO.

The Medical Heroes Exhibit will lay a foundation and establish a legacy for an extensive and effective national communication and education effort. Clinical research participants will have an unusual opportunity to see their contributions showcased and appreciated, and families, teens, and adults will take away a newfound awareness of the clinical trials process and a deeper appreciation for the contributions of study volunteers.   Ultimately, this legacy of education and outreach targeting children through high-school age and their families will help establish unprecedented levels of commitment, pride and support for the success of the clinical research enterprise.

If you are interested in learning more about the Medical Heroes Exhibit or sponsoring this exciting initiative, please contact


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