Dickinson to Host Lecture on Improving Health Care Knowhow

Portrait of Malabika Sarker. Woman in front of a white background wearing a blue-green top.

Dr. Malabika Sarker

The Bechtel Lecture

by Bella Lapp '26

Dickinson will welcome public health expert Dr. Malabika Sarker to discuss the role of implementation research in bringing up-to-date clinical knowledge to health care providers. Sarker’s talk, “Know-Do Gap: A Fallacy for Scale-Up and Sustainability,” will take place Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Stern Center Great Room. The event is free and open to the public and will also be available via livestream. The talk marks the annual Bechtel Lecture.

A term often used in a public health context, the “know-do gap” describes the disconnect between acquiring knowledge and using that knowledge for action. Sarker’s lecture will situate this phenomenon within a larger conversation about sustaining global health by arguing that the “know-do gap” cannot be addressed through any linear, homogeneous strategy. She will highlight the complexities present within existing public health interventions with reference to her research in Sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh, which examines the importance of scalability and sustainability within existing public health interventions.

Sarker is a physician and professor of the practice of behavioral and social sciences at the Brown University School of Public Health. She has taught science students across four continents and was awarded the global “Heroines of Health'' award in 2018. She is a board member of Lancet Global Health, World Federation Public Health Association, Medical Research Council UK and the National Institute of Health Research UK. Sarker holds the chair of the advisory board of the HRP Alliance for Research Capacity Strengthening and a seat on the Evaluation Advisory Committee of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The Bechtel lectureship was established in honor of Joan Bechtel (library resources) and the late Emeritus Professor Dan Bechtel (religion) to support speakers and events regarding Africa at the Clarke Forum. It is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by Dickinson’s Bechtel Leadership Fund and the Department of International Studies


Published October 13, 2023