It was obvious to participants at the workshop that a significant impasse has developed in the world of Lyme disease. There are conflicts within and among the science; policy; politics; medicine; and professional, public, and patient views pertaining to the subject, which have created significant misunderstandings, strong emotions, mistrust, and a game of blaming others who are not aligned with one’s views. Lines in the sand have been drawn, sides have been taken, and frustration prevails. The “walk in the woods” process of conflict resolution or a similar process seems necessary for creating a new environment of trust and a better environment for more constructive dialogue to help focus research needs and achieve better outcomes. Such a process does not imply a compromise of the science but rather is needed to shift to a more positive and productive environment to optimize critical research and promote new collaborations.
Copyright © 2011, National Academy of Sciences.