Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where's the Outreach?

One of the things that's supposed to happen prior to federal funding of the UW's proposed "Biocontainment Laboratory" is outreach. So far the UW's outreach presence has been MIA.

It's actually part of the NIH's Request for Application (RFA). Item 8.f. states " Provide a detailed community relations plan outlining initial and ongoing community outreach and involvement related to the intended research activities to be conducted at the RBL. Documentation of community outreach must be provided to the NIAID before award/construction can begin."

To date there's only been a handful of meetings and only two of those were officially stated as "public" meetings. The two public forums were on 2/23 and 3/1. In addition the UW has had lab proponents at two CUCAC monthly meetings, a monthly meeting of the Northeast District Council and a meeting with members of the UW's Student Senate. That's five "public" meetings by my count with two of them including public participation in just over two months. Not exactly an aggressive outreach policy so far.


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