The seminar series will aim to engage the NIH community in thought-provoking discussions to challenge what we think we know and to think critically about our role in today"s research environment. There is increasing attention to presenting potential benefits and harms of treatments and lifestyle choices in a balanced and transparent way. Prof. Spiegelhalter will discuss some proposals for how this might be done, focusing on alternative ways in which numbers and graphics may be used, and emphasizing the role of interactive animations and videos. Recent research on public preferences and understanding of different formats strongly suggests that one size does not fit all, and a range of alternative presentations may be appropriate.


Dr. Collins will discuss why behavioral interventions are important in many areas of public health, for example, smoking cessation, drug abuse prevention, treatment of obesity, management of heart failure symptoms, and promotion of physical activity. Behavioral interventions are typically developed and evaluated using a treatment package approach, in which the intervention is assembled a priori and evaluated by means of a randomized controlled trial (RCT). In this talk, she will review an alternative approach called the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST), an engineering-inspired framework for developing, optimizing, and evaluating behavioral interventions. MOST includes the RCT, as well as other empirical steps aimed at intervention optimization. Dr. Collins proposes that MOST offers several benefits, including the possibility of engineering behavioral