University of California San Francisco President Janet Napolitano helped kick off the UCSF medical school leadership retreat, participating in a roundtable discussion Jan. 11 with the medical school's dean, Talmadge E. King Jr., that touched upon topics that included the school's moral leadership role.
Responding to King’s questions about the relationship of the nation’s political landscape to next-generation scientific work, Napolitano, former Homeland Security secretary under President Barack Obama, was open but circumspect as she referenced potential challenges, an article on the USCF website said.
“We are living distressingly in an era where facts are underappreciated, where false equivalencies are put out there,” Napolitano said in the article. “We marry the knowledge and the expertise that comes out of the university with the public issues of today.”
Napolitano cited university-wide matters, such as undocumented students, the school’s carbon footprint and sexual harassment issues, and expressed a desire for officials to openly support researchers, take steps to make sure that their collective message is heard and ensure academic freedom.
She also advocated for implementing techniques for setting and reaching specific goals and insisting on system-wide accountability.
“We have to continue to put forward the fight that real science means something,” Napolitano said in the article. “We should not only not be shy, but should be speaking up and speaking out and uniting what we are talking about with what actions we are taking.”