Bartee Lectureship, Award showcase science advocacy

Bob Bartee, former UNMC vice chancellor for external relations

Bob Bartee, former UNMC vice chancellor for external relations

The inaugural Bob and Helen Bartee and Family Advocacy of Science Lectureship will be held at noon on March 26, at the Yanney Conference Room at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, will deliver the first Bartee lecture.

Mark Rupp, MD, shown here addressing the media, will receive the inaugural Bartee Advocacy of Science Award.

The event also will include the awarding of the first Bartee Advocacy of Science Award, for exceptional community engagement by a scientist, Mark Rupp, MD, chief of the UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases.

The Bartee Lectureship, created by the former vice chancellor for external relations and his family, invites a recognized expert to UNMC each year to provide a lecture and engage with UNMC faculty and students on topics related to making science relevant, creating ways for scientists to engage with the community and build science literacy and trust in scientific rigor and results.

“Bob Bartee was an unparalleled communicator and a staunch advocate of science during his career at UNMC,” said Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD. “We thank him for this new lectureship and award, which are a fitting capstone to his career while continuing his lifelong commitment to science, communication and education.”

The inaugural speaker, Woolley has led Research!America in its efforts to advocate for science, discovery and innovation to achieve better health for all. Under her leadership, Research!America has garnered attention and respect for its innovation in advocacy for research.

“We are proud to welcome Mary Woolley as our inaugural speaker,” Bartee said. “She is a strong and positive force for science, research, outreach and advocacy, particularly in the health sciences arena.”

The Bartee Advocacy of Science Award is given to a UNMC scientist who exemplifies and lives out a commitment to community engagement. Dr. Rupp was chosen for the inaugural honor by a process led by Chris Kratochvil, MD, Bartee’s successor as vice chancellor for external relations for UNMC.

“I am very pleased and incredibly honored to receive the inaugural Bartee family award for promotion of science literacy and advocacy,” Dr. Rupp said. “I have long respected and admired Bob for his incredible contributions to UNMC over the course of his career – which makes this award even more meaningful to me. 

“I believe the amplification of scientific misinformation and disinformation via social media is a pressing challenge and the promotion of scientific literacy may be one of our best strategies to preserve public health.”

Dr. Rupp added: “I am honored to share the stage with Mary Woolley, the president of Research!America, and I look forward to her presentation.”

Bartee praised Dr. Rupp for his outreach work.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, many medical center professionals distinguished themselves in providing accurate and timely scientific information to the public,” Bartee said. “Dr. Rupp stood out among an impressive group for his willingness to engage the media, elected officials and members of the public, at times almost daily, to provide a calm and reasoned voice among a cacophony of misinformation. I am pleased and honored that he is the first recipient of the Bartee Award.”

The lecture also can be attended via Zoom.


  1. John Keenan says:

    What an exciting gift. Thank you, Bob, for all your service to UNMC over the years.

  2. Tom O’Connor says:

    This lectureship is vintage Bob Bartee – he always comes up with brilliant ideas! The choice of Dr. Rupp for the inaugural award is absolutely perfect! Bravo!

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